Introduction to the Advent Season


During the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s easy to get caught in the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, Christmas parties, Christmas decorating. The excitement is palpable, drawing us into early, and perhaps, premature rejoicing in the celebration of the holiday season.

Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas, is certainly countercultural in our commercialized society. We aren’t used to waiting for anything. As soon as the Halloween products are removed from store shelves, Christmas items go up, completely clotheslining Thanksgiving. And yet, waiting should be an active part in our preparation for the Christmas celebration. 

In the Christian tradition, the Christmas season doesn’t actually begin until Christmas Eve and the celebration of the birth of Christ lasts twelve days. The role of Advent for the church is to aid in preparing our hearts for the celebration of Christ on December 25th. It also reminds us that “our whole life is an Advent season…a season of waiting for the last Advent, for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 2)

The Art & Culture Blog invites you to join us in our Advent celebration this year. We will post weekly reflections through the season of Advent and twelve days of reflections for Christmas. Each post will feature a passage of Scripture, a work of art, and a piece of music, paired with a reflection written by a member of Grace Church. 

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas. Trans. O. C. Dean. Ed. Jana Riess. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2010. Print.