If you’ve spent much time around a church during the holiday season, you’re probably heard the term “Advent” several times. But beyond associating the word with the Christmas season, many of us might not have the clearest idea of its significance.
Our English word “Advent” comes from the Latin adventus, which is a translation of the Greek term parousia, meaning “coming” or “arrival.” Western Christians have historically observed Advent during the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
But what specifically are we observing? To sum it up briefly, Advent is a season of expectation. In it, we turn our attention to the coming of Christ. And to do so, we look both backward and forward.