Many of us at Apostles did not grow up in churches that marked the liturgical year, and our experience of Advent was limited to wreaths and cardboard chocolate. We still love those ways of marking time in December. However, the four Sundays leading up to Christmas are not simply a preparation for Christmas. They are a season unto itself with the specific purpose of orienting us toward the future God has prepared for us in Christ. Thus our songs, prayers and sermons during Advent are more oriented to Christ’s return than his birth.
“Advent differs from the other seasons in that it looks beyond history altogether and awaits Jesus Christ’s coming again. In the cycle of seasons and festival days that takes the church through the life of Christ, it is Advent that gives us the final consummation; it is the season of last things.” - Fleming Rutledge