What is Advent?

This is the question thrown back at me after I carelessly assumed that everyone knew about Advent.  I’m a tragedy of Christendom.

The word “Advent” is the translation of parousia in ancient Greek, which means “presence, arrival, or visit.”  It is a word that the ancient writers of the Bible used to describe an event that will take place when Jesus returns on this earth.  Now, there are all kinds of books that were written, even some movies made from these books, that give opinions as to how Jesus will return…but I don’t believe the how is as important as the why.

This doctrine in the Christian faith of Jesus’ second return is about restoration.  N.T. Wright says that it is God “putting the world back to rights again.”  God declared that is was “very good” when He created it; and He intends to restore it.

Given all the crap in this world, what greater hope is there that God would one day restore it all?

This is the glory of Advent.

2 thoughts on “What is Advent?

  1. Part of the beauty of Advent stems also from its “now-not-yet” character. Jesus *will* return to set all things right and bring redemption for the people of God, but He has *already* done so in His Incarnation and in the work of redemption He accomplished on the cross – just as we are given foretastes of the resurrection and the feast to come in Baptism and the Supper. Hence the ambiguity of the term “Advent” and of the lectionary readings: there is a dual focus on Christ’s first coming and His second. Eschatology is not only coming, but also here in the person of Christ.

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