Advent - What is it?

While much time and attention is given to the season known as Christmas, some are still left wondering what this Advent stuff is all about.  In short, Advent means "arrival" and prepares us for Christmas when we celebrate the birth and arrival of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.  Another way to put it is that it anticipates Jesus' coming both historically in Bethlehem but also his return in the future clouds of glory.  While over the years it's lasted from three-days to six-weeks, in most cases, Advent now begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and officially ends on sundown on the day before Christmas.  As we gather for Worship each week, we take time to reflect on the advent of Jesus through the songs we sing and the various Scriptures that point to this anticipated arrival.