The four-week season of Advent starts the new church year, preparing the people of God for the celebrations of Christmas and Epiphany. Advent means “coming” and its mood is that of longing, expectation and waiting. The color purple is used because of its association with repentance, preparation and sacrifice. 

Appropriately during this time, the church remembers Jesus’ first coming and anticipates his coming again. This world is broken, and so we yearn for Jesus to come back as our King and to make all things new. The cry of Advent is the cry of those who have experienced the tyranny of injustice in a world under the curse of sin. It is the cry from those who still have hope of deliverance because they believe in a God who hears the cries of the oppressed and delivers them. 

Of course, Scripture teaches us that we need redemption from our broken world because we broke it! Advent calls us to wait and prepare for Jesus’ return by repenting and believing. We are to turn away from the false hopes and desires that twist our hearts and destroy our relationships. Instead, we are to turn toward Jesus, who frees us so that we may serve one another in grace and truth. Just as John the Baptist was born to prepare the way for Jesus’ first coming, so we are given to each other in the community of the church to encourage each other and challenge the world around us to prepare for his coming again. 

So, what do we exactly do during Advent? We wait and prepare by re-committing ourselves to the Christian practices: weekly worship, daily prayer, gathering with brothers and sisters in Christ for mutual encouragement, hospitality and sacrificial giving, and the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ. We re-commit to experiencing God anew and to praying with new hope the final prayer of the Bible: “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20). 

click here for St. Peter's Advent 2016 Guide