Advent: A Season of Promise
By Anna Sutton on behalf of Lakewood Anglican
It is natural for humans to follow a pattern in their life. When a new baby is born the most important thing a mother can do is help her child establish a schedule so that the baby falls into the happy security that comes from each day following the same basic rhythm. Your annual patterns may be dictated by sports season, natural weather patterns, or work, but all of us naturally settle into a repetitive flow of some kind.
The earliest Christians recognized this basic human need and they established a Church calendar. Briefly, the Christian calendar begins with Advent, which starts four Sundays before Christmas and then continues with the 12 days of Christmas (also called Christmastide), Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Ordinary Time. This ancient calendar created a beautiful rhythm for all Christians to follow that continually propelled them forward into the next season of growth and promise.
When this Thanksgiving ends we begin a new year in the Christian calendar. The four weeks of Advent were designed to give us hope as we look toward the second coming of Christ. Revelations 22:12 (NIV) reads “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” This verse seems scary. The second coming of Christ is associated with God’s judgement against sin and anyone even remotely honest with themselves is forced to admit to their own sin. However, the second coming of Christ is less about his judgement and more about the culmination of his promise. Further down in that same passage of Revelations we read, “And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” (verse 17).
Advent is a time of hope as Christians remember that Christ has promised to come back to earth again and usher in a kingdom of peace. A Christian’s hope is only ever in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and it is because of His death that we have already been set free from the condemnation of our sin. When we accept the death and resurrection of Christ we are accepting the free gift of the water of life.
Don’t spend this holiday season feeling overwhelmed or depressed. Join us at Lakewood Anglican Mission as we engage instead in a season of promise. We look back at the fulfilled promise of Christ’s first coming as a sacrifice for our sins and forward to His promised kingdom of peace. This year you are invited to enter into the rhythm of Christian life as we begin a new cycle of hope and birth, repentance and death, resurrection and life.
Lakewood Anglican Church meets at 4pm on Sunday afternoons at the corner of Madison and Saint Charles. Visit our website: lakewoodanglican.com for more information. We look forward to celebrating this season of promise with you!
Anna Sutton is the parish secretary for Lakewood Anglican Church. She lives in Lakewood with her husband and son.