Adventus is a Latin word meaning arrival or approach (Lexico.com). In Roman times, the population knew what this word meant and the ceremony attached to it. An Adventus was held when a conquering General or Emperor was welcomed into a city during a progress or the end of a military campaign (definitions.net).
Hence, the anglicized word Advent. Advent has been celebrated by the Christian church for about sixteen centuries. It was celebrated in Gaul and Spain during the fourth and fifth centuries as a time when those wishing to be baptized spent forty days in fasting, penance, and prayer. It was not linked to Christmas but to The Feast of the Magi. By the sixth century, Christians celebrating Advent were looking forward to Christ’s Second Coming. Later in the Middle Ages, Advent was linked to Christmas and to the first coming of Jesus (Christianity.com).
In the twenty-first century, many denominational churches still celebrate Advent. It occurs over four Sundays where both Christ’s first and second comings are celebrated. Most people (including myself for many years) do not really know that Advent is not just about remembering Christ’s first coming as a baby in Bethlehem. It is also about looking forward to the time when Christ shall come as a conquering King to the Earth.
Why do I even mention this? Because most of us at Christmas think of Jesus as a baby laying in a manger. There is nothing wrong with this but we must remember a few things about Jesus:
He is no longer laying in a manger in Bethlehem.
He is no longer walking around Israel teaching and performing miracles.
He is no longer on a cross at Calvary being crucified as an atonement for our sins.
He is no longer just risen out of a tomb after being there for three days.
He is no longer ascending into Heaven.
However, He is:
Sitting at the right hand of the Father, waiting for the time when He will return to Earth, His Adventus, and judge the nations. He will reign on the Earth for a thousand years and then judge the living and the dead…some will spend eternity with Him and others will spend it apart from Him in Hell.
Are we ready for the next arrival of Jesus? We can rest assured that it will surely come just as the first one did; according to God’s timetable and in fulfillment of prophecy. Let us prepare our hearts for it, so that we will not be ashamed at His Adventus!