Advent and Christian Life

While Advent is certainly a time of celebration and anticipation of Christ’s birth, it is more than that. It is only in the shadow of Advent that the miracle of Christmas can be fully understood and appreciated, and it is only in the light of Christmas that the Christian life makes any sense. It is between the fulfilled promise of Christ’s first coming and the yet-to-be-fulfilled promise of his second coming that Karl Barth penned these words: “Unfulfilled and fulfilled promise are related to each other, as are dawn and sunrise. Both promise and in fact the same promise. If anywhere at all, then it is precisely in the light of the coming of Christ that faith has become Advent faith, the expectation of future revelation. But faith knows for whom and for what it is waiting. It is fulfilled faith because it lays hold on the fulfilled promise.” The promise for Israel and the promise for the church is Jesus Christ; he has come, and he will come again. This is the essence of Advent.

Advent Readings

Advent readings are themed Scripture readings for each Sunday of Advent. The four weeks of Advent are broken down into the themes:

  1. Hope (or promise)
  2. Preparation (waiting or prophecy)
  3. Joy (peace)
  4. Love (adoration)
One of the beautiful things about the Advent readings above is that they offer churches the opportunity to include both young and old into their services, and the same can be true of private family devotions around the Advent wreath as well. By this point, you’ve probably realized that there is no set criteria for who should read the Advent readings in church. In some denominations, the lead pastor or worship leader may read the Advent reading, as a way of leading the congregation in worship. 
 
Read Advent Bible verses at BibleStudyTools.com - The 28 Scriptures can be broken into 4 weeks with a passage for each day!