Advent is a four-week season of preparation for Christmas. The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the church’s year.
Advent and Christmas focus both on the past – the coming of Jesus as an infant born into poverty in Bethlehem, and the future – the coming of Christ in glory to fulfill God’s loving purposes for humanity. This past and future orientation is reflected in the readings appointed in the church for each Sunday of Advent.
Advent this year comes at a time of anxiety and hope. Many of us are struggling and are afraid for our future. It’s not easy to hope when times are bad.
Mary, as she waited for the birth of her child into an uncertain world, knew how to live with hope – to believe the promises of God. So Advent is a time when we wait, with Mary, for the birth of new life into a world living in the shadows of death.