What is Advent?
The word advent means “coming” or “arrival.” In the Christian tradition, Advent is the first season of the Christian calendar and is marked by hopeful waiting for the coming of the Messiah. During early Christian history, the celebration of the first coming of Jesus was a season joined with preparation, especially for new believers as they were coming into the faith for baptism. On Christmas day, these new converts would receive the sacrament of baptism in accordance with the arrival of Jesus into the world to make all things new.
Today, Advent represents the location of the Church within these “last days” as we await the second coming of Jesus into the world. The church, like Israel before her, is in exile, awaiting the coming of the Messiah, who will free us ultimately and finally. In Advent, we look back in celebration upon Christ’s coming while at the same time looking forward in eager expectation of the coming of Christ’s kingdom when he returns for his people. Therefore, during Advent, we practice active, hopeful, and prayerful waiting. Additionally, Christian waiting is not lazy. Because we know God to be faithful, we join him in his work of making all things new and celebrate the victory of our King Jesus.
Sunday, November 29 – First Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 6 – Second Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 13 – Third Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 20 – Fourth Sunday of Advent
Tuesday, December 24 – Christmas Eve Service
Since Advent is the beginning of the annual liturgical calendar for the church, this is a great time to set some new rhythms for spiritual practices in the home, both as individuals and families. Why is doing so important? Check out this recording from the Worship @Home seminar we produced earlier this fall with Dr. Winfield Bevins! Catch some vision and some practical tips for making worship at home actually happen.
Even if you’ve never practiced devotionals in tu casa, start here! Download this pdf to find an easy Advent Wreath Liturgy to use on the four Sundays of this season (11/29, 12/6, 12/13, and 12/20).
But why stop there? Below are some morning and evening prayer guides for each week:
Feel freedom to scale up or scale down from what you find in this doc, and you can set as a goal hitting this morning or evening prayer five times a week.
During both the Advent and Christmas seasons (until Epiphany begins on Wednesday, January 6) at Liberti Church Collingswood, we are encouraging people to give generously toward a church in South Africa partnered with our Network, the Church in Mamelodi. It’s in the township of the same name northeast of Praetoria.
The Church at Mamelodi, itself a member of the multiracial Ligpunt Network of churches in South Africa, is a three year old church plant in a predominantly Black African district. Liberti’s Network Director, Steve Huber, is good friends with the Church at Mamelodi’s pastor, Sbu Mlotshwa, and spent time with this congregation at the beginning of 2020. If you would like to learn more, click through the church’s 2019 full report and a 2020 update.
This year for our ‘For Others’ Christmas Campaign, we’re are seeking to raise $8,000 for this vital work of the gospel. In addition to any normal Christmas offerings you may give, would you consider donating to this campaign? You can do so by sending designated cash or designated check to the church (“‘For Others’ Christmas Campaign”) or online right now!
Toy Drive for Bethany Christian Services
As we prepare for the liturgical season of Advent at Liberti Church Collingswood, we’ll again be participating in a toy drive for foster children and unaccompanied minors in our region through Bethany Christian Services! Please click here to sign up to purchase specific items, which must be shipped or dropped off by Sunday, 11/29, to Megan Clapper, who will distribute the gifts to these children and families. (Her address is 212 3rd Ave., Haddon Heights, NJ 08035). Gifts that are dropped off should be wrapped, with the child’s name and id number. Email with any questions about this initiative and/or for help with the sign up form.