I remember the first time I heard of Advent. Kelly and I were about to be married and we were attending a church in Bremerton, WA. We really enjoyed the church and the teaching from the pastor. Being a Messianic Jew, he was able to make the Old Testament come alive. It was there I first heard about Advent.
I personally have never been one for tradition for tradition's sake. As a matter of fact you can read some of my views of traditions at my personal blog http://pastorbriansarticles.blogspot.com. As I learned that Advent is a celebration of the first coming of Christ and the gifts that he carried to man from God, I was in awe. Yes, I knew the reason Christ came to the earth and what he taught and lived, but this notion of celebrating advent was fantastic!
To truly understand, you need to know a little about me. I came to know the Lord and give my life to him a few months before my 23rd birthday. Until that time, other than a few visits for weddings, and scouting events, I hadn't set foot in a church. I had no idea about the things of God or his plan for humanity. When I started following Jesus, it was a radical transformation. I treasured this celebration of Advent that I was experiencing for the first time. the interesting thing is every other popular/mainline church Kelly and I were a part of over the subsequent years didn't so much as mention Advent, let alone celebrate it.
When Kelly and I started pastoring our first church in a small rural town in Eastern Washington, we decided we were going to lead our church in the celebration of Advent. It was a fantastic time each Christmas season, and it really sets the tone of Christ for the Holy Spirit to work in people's hearts, minds, and lives. Sharing a message of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love followed by a celebration of the birth of Christ who was the bearer of these gifts for all mankind was wonderful.
Now Kelly and I find ourselves a part of the (Pr|T)eaching Team here at Cell Life Church. We want to bring that same wonder and amazement to people far and wide by celebrating Advent with you. Whether you can join us live while we stream the celebration on our YouTube channel or not, you can view it later with your family and friends.
However you celebrate this season of Christ, remember he came not only to bring the gifts of hope, peace, joy and love, but to also save us from an eternity of justice for our sins.
Be blessed my friends!