Lord's Day Liturgy

Anticipation Proper

Maybe the word advent is a little new to you. You’re familiar with Christmas, and even the building anticipation toward the 25th, but “advent” almost sounds like a separate holiday (compare to Acts 17:18 and those who thought “Jesus” and “the resurrection” were separate “divinities”). It’s possible that a few others of you are very familiar with Advent, capital A, from a religious/church context with all the formal tradition and stuff.

Advent proper is the four Sundays prior to Christmas, usually represented by four purple and pink candles, each one referring to a different element (Hope, Love, Joy, Peace) with a different reference (Prophecy Candle, Bethlehem Candle, Shepherd’s Candle, Angel’s Candle), and as Christmas gets closer the combined light gets brighter. A fifth, white candle usually gets lit for the day itself (Christ’s Candle).

We don’t have candles for our liturgy, though some have them at home, whatever colors and whatever you call them. Our community doesn’t talk about Advent like a narrow, let alone biblical, necessity. All are yours, and so parts of it are strategic without defining your righteousness by it.

The feast that we’ve been given and required to celebrate is the Lord’s Supper. And we remember Christ our Savior, not only in facts, but with the bread and wine.

The rule is that it shouldn’t be done alone, in isolation. It’s an activity for the body, for all the parts together. The rule is that it shouldn’t be done in the abstract, in the intellect only. It’s an activity for the body, chewing and sipping and swallowing. The rule is that it shouldn’t be done in MISERY, but in rejoicing and hope for His return.

In that sense our worship of the Lord in communion does exercise our feasting muscles, and prepares us for Anticipation proper.