If you are a bit confused by this, the first day of the church calendar, the first Sunday in Advent is this coming Sunday! The Advent season stretches over four Sundays and ends on Christmas Eve, when the celebration of Jesus’ birth arrives in full force.
Advent is a time of anticipation, when we remember God’s promises and expectantly look for him to fulfill them in Christ. It is also a time of preparation, when we ask God to make our hearts ready to receive Jesus at his coming. Themes of Advent (which means, “the coming”) involve not only Christ’s first coming, but also his ultimate return to reign, when “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess” that he is Lord.
Marking Advent can be one of the most counter-cultural activities in which Christians may participate. As the world around us works itself into a frenzy trying to keep up with holiday demands, believers can use this time for contemplation, spiritual practices, and simple good works of love for our neighbors.
The following video, “Christmas 101,” featuring Fr. Eric Dudley of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Tallahassee, gives an overview of this season from a Christian perspective. I think you will find it winsome, engaging, and practical.