Abridge Evangelical Free Church
Abridge Evangelical Free Church
The Chase - London Road - Abridge - Essex - RM4 1XA
Advent (Advent Information)
The Advent season is a four week period before Christmas that celebrates the anticipation and coming of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The origin of "advent" is from the Latin word adventus which simply translates "coming" or "arrival". Not only is the Christian meaning for preparation and celebration of the coming of Jesus Christ, his birth at Christmas, but also to celebrate the new life when someone accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior, and lastly, the anticipation of Jesus returning again.
There are beautiful and rich traditions behind the celebration of Advent. Let's take a deeper look at the focus and themes of each week of Advent and some of the traditions celebrated around the world during the Advent season. May you find time to slow down this Christmas season, say "no" to the things that distract you from Jesus and say "yes" to the gift that God wants you to experience.
The History and Origin of Advent
No one really knows when Advent first began. However, in the late 400s, St. Gregory of Tours wrote in the History of the Franks that St. Perpetuus decreed a three week fast from the time of the feast of St. Martin until Chrismas. Whether this was a new custom being instated or an existing observance being enforced. In 567 at the second Council of Yours, monks began to practice fasting on the first of December through Christmas day.
While many Greek Orthodox and Eastern Catholics still observe a 40 day fast, that begins November 15th, Western Christianity, specifically the Roman Catholic Church, began to observe the season of Advent from the fourth Sunday before Christmas through Christmas Eve. Today, many Protestant sects of Christianity have begun to incorporate Advent traditions into their Sunday services. Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, and other denominations have begun to observe the traditional Advent customs.
The Four Weeks of Advent
The four Sundays of Advent each have a specific theme or focus. The purpose of each theme is to spend time reflecting on the true meaning of the season - the life of Jesus Christ. The goal should be to come before God with a sincere heart and to worship Jesus Christ. To help the observation of these weeks, many churches led their congregation through Advent Readings. This tradition includes the reading of Scriptures that reflect the theme of each week. Whether in a traditional church or at home with your family, these Bible verses are a great way to reflect on the promise of the Messiah both yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Week 1: Hope (or promise)
Isaiah 9:2, 6-7: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness, a light has dawned...For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”
Week 2: Preparation (or waiting or prophecy)
Isaiah 40:3-5: “A voice of one calling: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’”
Week 3: Joy (or peace)
Matthew 2:10-11, “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
Week 4: Love (or adoration)
John 3:16-19, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”
Sunday -- Morning Worship at 11am
Monday -- Assemblies
Tuesday -- Prayer Meetings
For over 96 Years we have been part of Village life. Find out how it all started and read some of the amazing stories of God's provision and guidance over those years!
Our church is situated just off the London Road opposite a road sign reading “Evangelical Church”. Founded in 1924, the simple place of worship was erected in 1926, and it has remained the focal point for many Christians in the village ever since. Beside the wooden church (or chapel, as it is sometimes known locally) is a manse built in the 1990s. And behind the church and manse is land which is at present largely given over to allotments.
Abridge Evangelical Church is a registered charity
Charity Number: 1164783