Though my experience tells me that very few within our tradition observe the liturgical calendar, I’m finding more and more churches in the Assemblies of God that observe the season of Advent. So, what is this Christmas-time liturgical season popping up in traditions that don’t usually observe those times which some have argued stifle the work of the Spirit in our churches?
Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical year, directing observers to reflect on both Christ’s first coming and his return, which the Church has anticipated since the Ascension. Without the season of Advent, I’m tempted to think of Christmas as a single day—a day devoid of the process of the Annunciation…a day devoid of Joseph wanting to put Mary away quietly…a day devoid of travel and trials that led to the first coming of our Savior.
Over the next few weeks, we will have posts related to the Advent season. Our hope is that this series walks readers through the process of Christ’s coming. This week, I would like to encourage everyone to reflect on the Protoevangelium. This is the initial promise of hope that was presented by God himself regarding the overcoming of the enemy.
After humanity rebelled against God, we find that God declares to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). This promise leads us to the recognition of a process that took thousands of years to see come to pass.
Let us reflect on the hope that was begun in the Garden, maintained by the patriarchs and prophets, and fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.