Literally means "coming."
For Christians, Advent is about anticipating, waiting, and imagining the kingdom of God in the world - a kingdom marked by love, gentleness and humility. A kingdom beautifully revealed in birth of a baby - Jesus. Power and might unexpectedly small, understated. In fact, power and might redefined by God's self-giving love. "Emmanuel, God with us!"
The celebration of Advent, then, is a reminder that our faith, victorious indeed, is also about waiting:
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me (Micah 7:7 NIV)Or as Stanley Hauerwas remarks about Advent:
Advent is patience. It’s how God has made us a people of promise in a world of impatience...And Christ has made that possible for us to live patiently.During the Christmas season, as the busyness ensues and impatience ends up reigning (and ruining!) the day, Advent offers a chance to step back - a chance to step back and accept an alternative way of living in a world bent more towards what's hectic than what's holy. Advent teaches us that waiting is holy. Patience is holy.
Have a patient Advent!