One Christmas family tradition in the Halverson home has been the observation of Advent. In various ways—some formal, some lighthearted—in the days of December leading up to Christmas, we have kept this tradition.  Around the dinner table we have read Scripture and have taken turns lighting candles on an advent wreath. One of the kid’s favorite advent traditions (even now that they are all adults) is chocolate advent calendars.

Kristen and I both grew up in church traditions that formally observed advent on the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. We look back on that experience with fond memories, and wanted to recreate that atmosphere of anticipation for the month of December in our family. We wanted to remind ourselves and our children that the coming of Jesus, is the crux of all of human history, the single most miraculous event of all, and not just a holiday with presents.

Yet, advent observances are a bit of a mystery to some. Where did it come from? What does it mean? Why do it? Ryan Reeves has a great little article and video on The Gospel Coalition blog called The History of Advent. I enjoyed it and learned some things that I didn’t know before, such as the historical dual emphases on not only the first advent of Christ in the Incarnation, but also on the second advent of Christ at the end of days. I hope you take a few minutes to read it (or watch) and enjoy it as well.

Also, beginning this Sunday, there will be an advent devotional booklet available to our church families called The One True Light. Daily Readings for Advent from the Gospel of John by Tim Chester. They are free and will be available in the lobby after the worship service. We only have 100 copies, so we ask that you only take one per family.

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Dave