The Meaning of Advent
“Let us not resist the first advent, so that we may not dread the second.” Saint Augustine, 4th century
Like all of the early church fathers, Augustine considered that the church was living between two comings of Christ—his coming in obscurity when, born of Mary, he hid his radiance behind the veil of mortal flesh; and his coming in glory when, borne on the winds of heaven, he will reveal his eternal splendor for all the world to see. How we will greet the latter coming is largely dependent upon how we have already greeted the former, and how we continue to greet the coming of Jesus into our lives. In this sense, our entire lives are an advent of preparation and anticipation, making the annual season of Advent a particularly focused reminder that “getting ready” for eternity is the primary purpose of our passing days.