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Ummm…What’s Advent?

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We, the church, like to use churchy words. We’re so accustomed to them that we forget not everyone knows what they mean.

When I don’t know what something means, I make a mental note to Google it when I get home.

Glancing at your neighbor in the pew most likely won’t help, because they shrug their shoulders and give you the, “I dunno look”.

They’re gonna go home and Google it, too.


That’s a churchy word. It comes from the Latin word, adventus, meaning “coming”.

However, the first time I was introduced to the word, Advent, was not in a church. It was in 8th grade German class and Frau LeMay was selling Advent calendars.

They were made of sturdy, cardboard decorated with Santa and Christmas tree scenes. Behind each of the 24 windows was a delicate, festive shaped, German chocolate.

I bought one of those beautiful calendars and tore open every single window on the first day.

So much for patience and self-control.

I learned from 8th grade German class that Advent was a countdown to Christmas Day and the arrival of Santa.

After becoming a Christian, I was introduced to Advent again. This time Advent was a ritual of lighting candles on an Advent wreath. On each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, someone reads a prayer written during the week in the church office.

I learned that Advent was a ritual to prepare for our celebration of Jesus’ birth.

Advent can be both of those things: a cheap, chocolate count down to the arrival of hordes of gifts or a lovely, church ritual involving expensive, oil filled candles that can only be touched with gloved hands.

But is there more?

Instead of blowing off Advent as another churchy season of ritual with a taste of chocolate shaped reindeer on the side—I’m going to take a deeper look at Advent.

I’m not sure what I’ll come up with…but hopefully I’ll see you tomorrow.

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” ~ Proverbs 8:17

Yolanda DeLoach (@YolandaDeLoach) is a member of Wesley UMC and through her writing, tries to remind herself to keep life light. You can visit her at her own site,

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