Our culture promotes the days leading up to Christmas as a time of spending, acquiring, cooking, partying and decorating–of giving our time, money and attention over to the pursuit of something called “getting ready for Christmas,” with the goal of a rather unrealistic fantasy of what the day will be for ourselves and our families.
As Christians, we approach the season before Christmas quite differently. Advent is a time of reflection, study and prayer, in preparation for receiving Christ in our hearts and in our lives.
Advent is the first season in the church’s year. John N. Wall in his Dictionary for Episcopalians writes, “traditionally regarded as one of two penitential seasons (the other being Lent). But Advent is better thought of as a season of solemn preparation for remembering Christ’s incarnation at Christmas and for anticipating the eschatalogical fulfillment of his promise to return in power and great glory. The season’s biblical readings focus on the end time and on God’s promises for the people of Israel and the church of Christ.”
The Advent color is violet or blue, so in order to distinguish between this season and the penitential season of Lent, we use the bluer hues during Advent, for this season has a 2-fold character: as a season to prepare for Christmas and Christ’s coming in time and as a season to direct our minds and hearts to await Christ’s second coming at the end of time. Advent is then a period of devout and joyful expectation.
Advent Gift Giving Program
St Andrew’s Annual Advent/Christmas giving program is a wonderful way for you to spread the good news of Christ’s birth. There are several ways that you can join in giving gifts to others during Advent and Christmas. We are collecting mittens and scarves for the homeless (add them to the Mitten Tree in Carmichael Hall!), food pantry donations for FOCUS (add items to the baskets in the church), new packages of socks and underwear for the homeless (basket in church), filling Advent giving folders with a quarter a day for our Haiti mission work, and collecting monetary donations for our LTN Community monthly dinners. See the bulletin board on Advent giving in the hallway outside Carmichael Hall for more information!
You can also give, year round, to Gifts for Life- Episcopal Relief and Development helps to provide families around the world and in local areas affected by natural disasters with food, clothing, clean water, skills in gardening and raising livestock among other things. you can even give a goat this Christmas! For more information click here.
Advent 2019 begins on Sunday, December 1.
Check back closer to then for updates!