When I was a child I thought the significance of advent was limited to the day and celebration of Christ’s birth. That idea has been greatly expanded and corrected by some of my friends, and worshipping with Lutherans and Presbyterians.
I like Robert Webber’s comments on advent:
The first thing we must know about Advent is that it represents the
beginning of the Christian year, where our spiritual journey begins.
During this time we enter into the anticipation of Israel–
the longing shared by Abraham, Moses, David, and the prophets.
What we long for is the coming of the Messiah and all that his
coming means for this world.
Second, we should know that for the Christian, Advent not only
means the coming of the Messiah at Bethlehem, but the coming of
Christ at the end of the age….
Third, it is important that we look not only at the fact of Christ’s
coming again, but also at the meaning of his comings….
Christ became one of us in order to restore us and his
creation to its original condition….
Fourth, Advent calls us not only to long for this day, but also to
prepare for it. Thus, in the midst of great joy, there is also the need
for repentance. We are to clean house, to ready ourselves for his
coming by the renewal of our spiritual condition….
What we want to accomplish spiritually is this…we want to let God
birth within us an expectation of his presence and power in our life,
and in the life of the world.
Yesterday Advent began again and we sang a song which beautifully expresses the significance of it, “Of The Father’s Love Begotten.”