Nov 29, 2023

Advent 2023: Hope for the Christian Is Confident Expectation of the Future

The Advent season is near! 

This Sunday, December 3, marks the beginning of Advent this year. 

Advent—from the Latin adventus, “arrival”—in the Christian Church calendar is the period of preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas. It also marks a time of preparation for the second coming—from the Greek parousia, “appearance”—of Christ.

We begin this year’s Advent series with an invitation to focus on hope from Dr. Glenn Packiam (lead pastor of Rockharbor Church in Costa Mesa, California, author of The Resilient Pastor and speaker).

Packiam sets the stage by sharing this verse as a reminder of the hope we’ve been born into as Christians:

May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed!
On account of his vast mercy, he has given us new birth.
You have been born anew into a
living hope through
the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

–1 Peter 1:3 CEB

He then notes these three things as focuses for the first week of Advent, as we live between the two appearances of Jesus—his birth at Christmas and his second coming: 

  1. We rejoice in hope
  2. We let God refine our faith
  3. We receive the goal of our salvation

Finally, Packiam encourages us to use this first week of Advent as an opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to recalibrate our minds and to reflect on what God is like.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, as you reflect on what was shared above, we pray that you will be blessed and find hope in the promise and expectation of Christ this Advent season.

Further research and resources:

  • Are you trying to figure out what it means to lead effectively into the future? You’re not alone. Join The Resilient Pastor Cohort, a 12-week learning community launching late  January 2024, to help you grow in resilience. Learn more here.
  • Interested in purchasing Glenn’s book, The Resilient Pastor? Order your copy today!
  • Currently on its third season, The Resilient Pastor podcast is hosted by Glenn Packiam, Rich Villodas and Sharon Hodde Miller. Follow along as the hosts invite pastors to think out loud together about the challenges and opportunities facing church leadership today.

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Since 1984, Barna Group has conducted more than two million interviews over the course of thousands of studies and has become a go-to source for insights about faith, culture, leadership, vocation and generations. Barna is a private, non-partisan, for-profit organization.

Begins January 31, 2024

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