Is advent biblical?
Good question. The word “Advent” is not found in the Bible; however, “Advent” means “coming” or “arrival.” So, it is a time when we remember the coming or the arrival of the Messiah. The “Second Advent” is an expression referring to the Second Coming of Christ.
Advent is a church tradition. It is not commanded, encouraged, or talked about in scripture.
I think there is value in the Advent tradition from a teaching standpoint and from a worship standpoint. The various aspects of Advent (candles, wreath, Bible passages, and responsive readings) provide visual object lessons of spiritual truth related to the life of Christ.
The Jews have a number of traditions that remind them of spiritual lessons (the Menorah, the Feast of Tabernacles, and Passover to name a few). Thus, to follow a tradition that honors Christ and the teachings of the Bible is a good thing.
Many Christians carry a cross or display a cross. We are not commanded in the Bible to do this. Many of us do so anyway because it reminds us of the price that Jesus paid to purchase our salvation. The cross also becomes an item that non-Christians can see that will cause many of them to ask “What is this?” “What does it mean?” Believers then have an opportunity to tell the story of God’s love and forgiveness. Advent can serve a similar purpose.
~ Pastor Chris