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, December 3 – First Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 10 – Second Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 17 – Third Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 24 – Fourth Sunday of Advent
Sunday, December 24 – Church on Christmas Eve (11:15 am)
As our congregation "prepares him room" this December, we're encouraging our folks to work through weekly devotionals as a spiritual help. 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.
Below, you see posted weekly Advent devotionals which include liturgies for adults, families & children, and activities for all Liberti Kids age groups. Even if you’ve never practiced devotionals in tu casa, start here!
Welcoming the outsider, sojourner, and exile is one of the key components of biblical ethics, and we have an opportunity to let that rubric hit the road on Sunday afternoon, 12/17, at Fervent Church (904 Cooper Rd, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043). Come and serve at their Refugee "Grocery Store" for families and individuals primarily from Afghanistan, Burma, and Syria. To serve day-of, you can arrive at Fervent for as much time and as many "shifts" as you'd want to spend: setup runs from 1pm to 2pm, the "grocery store" itself stretches from 2pm to 4pm, and cleanup occurs afterwards. (Text Lauren Giacone at 856-816-4517 by noon on Saturday, 12/16, if you'd want to be part of the headcount for pizza during the setup hour on 12/17.) You can also drop off food donations on 12/16––click here for a list––to the home of Lauren's parents (107 N. Brookfield Rd. Cherry Hill NJ) between noon and 3pm or do the same at Fervent on 12/17 between 1pm and 1:30pm.