Advent. Four weeks, typically beginning at the end of November, that jump-starts the Christmas season. Some celebrate Advent with wreathes and candles, while others follow calendars, recite daily scripture readings, and meditate through prayer. There is talk of anticipation, hope, joy, love, & peace with the coming birth of the Messiah.
But what is Advent, and what does Advent mean to those who celebrate it? Libby McCammon, member of Central, shares her thoughts on the season.
“It’s all about preparing.” Libby says about the Advent season. Advent is a time of preparing your heart and getting it ready. It is an important time to visit the story of Jesus Christ’s birth and try to get to know the Biblical characters in a different way, Libby said.
“You want it to be fresh. You want it to be real,” Libby said, referring to the story of Jesus’ birth and how deeply she hopes the good news of his coming will touch her heart.
Advent activities have been an annual tradition in the McCammon household. She smiled when reminiscing on the days when she and her husband used an Advent wreathe with their young children. They would light a candle on Sunday, read Scripture, and pray with one another. Libby and her husband still continue this tradition, even though her children are grown and live elsewhere.
Her family traditions and the various personal exercises during Advent are important for her faith because she said that Advent reminds Christians of the single most important day – when Jesus came as a baby to save the world from sin.
The true meaning of Christmas can easily be forgotten as the craziness of the season sets in. But to Libby, Christmas is not just about presents.
“[Advent] reminds me of what the season of Christmas is about. Otherwise, I’d go hog wild with selfishness … My goal for myself is to know why I’m celebrating Christmas,” Libby said.
She says that Christmas is about Jesus leaving Heaven to come down to this world. He did not have to, but he did. And he did it as a baby in a manger.
“Christmas gives a renewed focus. Renewed energy,” Libby said. She hopes the Advent season will spur renewed energy in her own walk so that she might know the Lord even deeper.
Libby teaches a young adult/young family Sunday School class, in which she and her husband are going through an Advent study with the class.