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Advent

Advent
NOV. 29 - DEC. 24

WHAT IS

ADVENT?

Christmas has long since gone commercial, hasn’t it? When many people think of Advent, they think of plucking chocolates from behind the window of an Advent calendar that counts down the days to Christmas. We have the brilliant holiday marketing minds at Cadbury to thank for that. They created the first chocolate Advent calendar in 1958.

But the word advent actually comes from the Latin adventus, which simply means “arrival.” Advent is the coming, the arrival, of the presence of God Himself— God with us. For hundreds of years, followers of Jesus from a wide variety of church traditions around the world have set aside the four weeks leading up to Christmas as a meaningful season of celebration and anticipation.

That’s what we’re up to here.

Please watch.

Advent
Christmas Together

Advent begins November 29th and ends on Christmas Eve, December 24th. We’ll take the four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas Eve to focus on a different theme of celebration and anticipation—hope, peace, joy, and love. Our Advent season will crescendo with a meaningful Christmas Eve service (both online or in-person) that our whole church will participate in together.

Advent is a Call to Celebration
NOV. 29 - DEC. 24
A Call to Celebration

In celebration, we remember the earnest expectations and fervent prayers of faithful saints of old who longed for the coming of their Messiah to rescue them from sin and all its cronies. Humanity called upon the name of the Lord, and God answered.

He arrived living and breathing and walking among us. Advent is a way to experience their joy as we put their ancient, Spirit-inspired words on our lips as a community.

Advent is a Call to Anticipation
NOV. 29 - DEC. 24
A Call to Anticipation

So Advent is something that really happened, but Advent will happen again. Jesus is coming back. At His first coming, the future kingdom of God burst into the present with Jesus’ incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Our spiritual enemies were disarmed. Yet our world is not what it will be as we await the reign of our good king. We live in the “already but not yet” of Jesus’ kingdom. At Advent, we give voice to “kingdom come” prayers of our own, looking expectantly for Jesus’ return. In that way, this is a season of both celebration and anticipation.

For Christians, Christmas is less sentimental than you think. Advent allows us to be honest about what’s wrong with our world and to freely celebrate Christmas as good news—King Jesus has come; King Jesus will come again!

A Guide to Participating in Advent

So Advent is something that really happened, but Advent will happen again. Jesus is coming back. At His first coming, the future kingdom of God burst into the present with Jesus’ incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Our spiritual enemies were disarmed. Yet our world is not what it will be as we await the reign of our good king. We live in the “already but not yet” of Jesus’ kingdom. At Advent, we give voice to “kingdom come” prayers of our own, looking expectantly for Jesus’ return. In that way, this is a season of both celebration and anticipation.

For Christians, Christmas is less sentimental than you think. Advent allows us to be honest about what’s wrong with our world and to freely celebrate Christmas as good news—King Jesus has come; King Jesus will come again!

How to Get the Guide

1. Grab a physical copy of our Advent Guide this weekend at any of our church locations. 

2. Download a PDF version of the  Advent Guide. Download here.

What's in the Guide?
Weekly Gatherings

This Christmas season we want you to consider connecting with a few friends or family members once a week (Sunday evenings if you can) to enjoy community and encounter God together. There’s a pattern you may have noticed most people tend to fall into during the Christmas season. We spend more, consume more, eat more, and do more in December than any other month of the year. For this reason, Christmas can be one of the least emotionally healthy seasons of the year. We believe it doesn’t have to be. In fact, we’re inviting you to resist that pattern. As the famous Christmas carol proclaims, “Let every heart prepare Him room.” Make room for these Advent Gatherings. You won’t regret it.

 

Candle-lighting Liturgies

This Advent guide will walk you through how to prepare for your gathering, and it will give you step-by-step directions for how to participate in each Advent Home Candle-Lighting Liturgy in your home (liturgy is just a word for a thoughtful order of worship). The Advent Home Candle-Lighting Liturgy itself will take 10–15 minutes. The duration of the rest of the gathering is up to you.

Other Resources

We’ve included a Weekly Advent Journal as a space for you to jot down your reflections on what happened at each gathering (as a host or a guest). You might write about a good memory you were reminded of, something funny someone said, or an expression of how you felt. Mostly, though, this is a place to preserve what you sensed God was speaking to you.

We’ve also included something we’re calling Daily Advent. This is a set of simple practices designed to help you see the choose-your-own-adventure expressions of worship to God available in everyday life.

Daily Advent practices are a way to protect yourself from the unintentional consequences of the modern pace of life. In his book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer defines daily worship practices as “a schedule and set of practices to order your life around the way of Jesus in community. (They are) a way to keep from getting sucked into the hurry, busyness, noise, and distraction of regular life. A way to slow down. A way to live into what really matters… key relationships with family and community… a healthy soul. You know, the good stuff.”

Parent’s Guide to Advent for Kids

If you're looking for Advent activities to do with your kids, we've put together a Parent’s Guide to Advent for Kids that includes scriptures to read, helpful breakdowns of our weekly Advent topics, and fun activities for the whole family. 

 

Download a PDF version of the Parent's Guide. Download here.

central christian church
beloit
one church in multiple locations

Beloit, WI | centralwired.com

2460 Milwaukee Road

Beloit, Wisconsin  53511

608.362.7663

centralwired.com

Janesville, WI | centraljanesville.com

Machesney Park, IL | centralmachesneypark.com

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