Are you ready for some Advent?

As the football season winds down for high school, it’s just getting exciting for colleges and fantasy football fanatics. By the way, have you seen fantasy church and even fantasy congress? However, it’s not football that IP wants you ignorant Protestants to get ready for; it’s Advent.

"What’s Advent?" I’m ashamed to admit that until a few years ago, I would have asked the same question. Unfortunately, if you currently attend a church that has two worship services on a Sunday, you are probably still asking that question. In fact, if your morning service is characterized by Welcome/Announcements… Music… (perhaps an occasional solo) a Testimony, video, or isolated scripture reading… Preaching… (concluded by a fervent evangelistic appeal and an "invitation" replete with 3-4 stanzas of insert your favorite hymn), Advent may sound like a a great name for a new Pontiac SUV to you.

Here at IP, we hope to change that and encourage church members and leaders to reconnect with the ancient church by implementing some of the traditions and celebrations that they commemorated to encourage their corporate faith journey.

Advent is the beginning of the church year for denominations and churches that follow the western church calendar. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and concludes on Christmas Eve, December 24. For the eastern church, the church year begins on September 1. The liturgical year is different for Eastern and Western churches and dates back to the "Great Schism" in 1054, although the church had been divided for many years before that in doctrine and issues of authority.

(If you’re totally ignorant of the distinction and history of the Roman Catholic Church and its split from what is not called the Eastern Orthodox Church, you’re definitely an ignorant protestant. Read up. Ask around. Google. Wikipedia. Whatever floats your boat. But don’t remain uninformed. What you’ll discover will enrich, encourage, and shape your faith expression for the rest of your life.)

Dennis Bratcher has an excellent article over at CRI/The Voice explaining the seasons of the church year.

Advent this year will begin on December 3. It’s a deeply meaningful and hopeful way for your church, family and friends to prepare your hearts for the celebration of the Incarnation. What do you plan to do?

 

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