“Christmas has lost its meaning for us because we have lost the spirit of expectancy. We cannot prepare for an observance. We must prepare for an experience.” Handel Brown
This Sunday marks the beginning of the season of Advent on the Liturgical calendar. Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. The term is an anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming". Liturgically speaking, Advent is the beginning of the Western liturgical year and commences on Advent Sunday.
The Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ. For Christians, the season of Advent anticipates the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The season offers the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert for his Second Coming.
This season of Advent coincides with our identity at First Baptist as a church of “Great Expectations.” Advent is a reminder of the “Great Expectations” that emboldened the people of God as they anticipated the arrival of the long awaited Messiah, our Lord and Liberator Jesus Christ. To the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, Advent is more than a season or a date on a calendar but Advent is a lifestyle, a mode of existing, a way of being. We are always anticipating and expecting the arrival of our Lord in our lives in every experience we are presented with.
In the spirit of Advent, today also begins the launch of a new sermonic series entitled “The Power of Anticipation”. Anticipation is defined as “An expectation foreknowledge, intuition, and presentiment.” Anticipation is the first step that prepares us for Divine realization. In this series, we will explore the classic biblical narratives around the central theme of “anticipating” the birth of the Son of God. The Power of Anticipation, prayerfully, will inspire us and ignite our faith in such a way that we all will be reborn, restored, and revitalized because of the presence of Immanuel, God with us.
With Great Expectations,
Pastor Rashad D. Grove