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 eschatological 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!), diapers, food pantry donations for FOCUS (add items to the baskets in the church), new packages of socks for the homeless (basket in church), donating to our Haiti Mission, and collecting monetary donations for our LTN Community monthly dinners.
Advent 2019 began on Sunday, December 1.
We will be “Greening the Church” on Advent IV (Sunday, December 22) after the 10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist. All are welcome to join us to decorate the church for Christmas!