The Meaning Of Advent
“Either from the beginning or near the beginning Christians held some days and seasons as sacred,” writes historian Kenneth Latourette in A History Of Christianity. The church year developed around the celebration of the great redemptive acts of God: the Incarnation (Christmas) and Christ’s death and resurrection (Easter). It was early in the fourth century that a distinctive nativity festival developed on December 25th. The Christmas celebration was preceded by 4 weeks of Advent, during which the Sunday worship centered on the coming of Christ.
The word “advent” is derived from the Latin adventus, which corresponds to the Greek word parousia, which means “presence” or “coming.” Both the Old and New Testaments foster a forward gaze to an anticipated “coming” of the Lord; the Old, the first advent or the Incarnation, and the New, the second advent or second coming. In that regard, below are listed two verses that use the word parousia in referring to the second coming of Christ.
Matthew 24:27 “For as the lightening comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of “the Son of Man.”
I Thessalonians 3:13 “May He strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with His holy ones.”