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Steps to a Calmer, More Christ-focused Advent

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The word ‘advent’ comes from ‘ad’ meaning ‘to’ and from ‘vent,’ a form of a Latin word meaning ‘coming.’ Advent is the season when Christians look back on the first advent, or coming, of Messiah, and we look forward to the second advent-his return. New Year’s Day in the church year, which follows the life and ministry of our Lord, begins this year on December 1-the day many Christians count as the first day of Advent. During the four weeks leading up to Christmas, a lot of churches observe Advent as a season of expectant waiting and the preparation of our hearts.

Two millennia ago as Israel awaited the Messiah, Herod—the kind of guy who ordered the killing of his own son— sat on the throne in Judea. Roman soldiers occupied Palestine and squished the slightest hint of uprising with violence. In that world scores of people who committed crimes …

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