‘Advent’ is one of those few special Christian words that is readily understood by everyone. Not many, on the other hand, would as quickly grasp the meaning of ‘liturgical’ or ‘lent’, let alone ‘trinitarian’ or ‘eschatology’. Actress Dana Delany (Desperate Housewives) once quipped, “With the advent of DVD, you can watch it whenever you want to”. The Christian use of the word is of course highly specialized since we use it to mean the advent of God, his coming into this world as one of us.
Back in 1995 Joan Osborne sang “What if God was one of us?” I always thought, “Well duh! He is!” It’s still a great song to get people thinking.
Perhaps we should be taking advantage (adventage?) of this popular understanding of our word. With the outcry about “Merry Christmas”, we might try “Merry Advent”. How about an old-fashioned Advent carol sing? We might experiment with asking, “Are you ready for Advent?” Any of these could be great conversation starters.
During the Advent season harried shoppers will from time to time hear in the background some choir singing these inspired words by Charles Wesley:
“Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail, the incarnate deity,
Pleased as Man with man to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel! “
Let’s pray that God might use these background lyrics to bring to the forefront of hearts and minds this astonishing message of love.
The first Sunday in Advent falls on November 27th. All three of our churches will be gathering at Ingoldsby at 10 in the morning to celebrate, anticipate and commemorate the life and sacrifice of Jesus our Lord through sharing in the Lord’s Supper. I hope you will come and remind others of this change in our routine.
A happy Advent to all!
In Christ’s love, Harry