Advent (from the Latin adventus, meaning "coming" or "arrival") is the four-week season of preparation for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. A good celebration requires proper preparation for us to fully enjoy it. During December, however, we mostly confuse helpful readiness for the hustle of Christmas shopping, parties, and preparations. The Advent season, more reflective in nature, can feel out of sync with all this noise and busyness.
More than just remembering Christ's first arrival, Advent hopes for Christ's second coming. Advent is a season of expectant waiting, tapping into the sense we have that all is not well, the longing for the world to be made right again. It's a season for restless hearts and people weary of a broken world who want, with all our being, to know there's more than this.
Advent cultivates in us a discerning eye, helping us to spot the sin that clutters our lives and notice all the ways we need to be saved. By helping us hope intensely for restoration, to feel our own need to be saved, Advent prepares us for genuine Christmas joy and faith in the One who saves us from our sin, Jesus.
- from Philip Reinders' Seeking God's Face