Today is the last day of the liturgical calendar in the year of our Lord 2016. The lights are now all strung up on the tree and on the eaves, ready to remind us of the contrast between the darkness and the light that we reflect upon during the Season of Advent, which begins the new church year starting tomorrow.
The Advent Season begins four Sundays prior to Christmas Day. The Latin adventum means “appearing” or “coming” and indicates that this is the liturgical season in which we engage in a renewed remembrance of the Coming of Christ our Lord and Savior. The anticipation by ancient Israel of a singular coming of the Messiah unfolded to be what we now know is a First Coming and a Second Coming. We look forward to the Second Coming on the Last Day while we recognize our place in the world during this interadvental age as being very much like ancient Israel’s place awaiting her Messiah at his First Coming. This is a season to refresh our hope, faith, joy, and peace.