Advent is the last few weeks before Christmas, and Advent Sunday is the fourth Sunday before Christmas and the first day of Advent.
It's worth pointing out the state of mind of the Jews in first-century Palestine. They were a subject nation, under the control of the Roman empire, and totally absorbed with the promise of someone who would be a King to lead them out of slavery.
Before the prophet Samuel anointed David as the first King of the Jews, he reminded them that earthly rulers never live up to their anointing, never live up to what is expected of them.
I'm sure you can see examples amongst current world leaders.
The promise of a new King, the promise that I'm referring to at the moment, is a promise of a King who will live up to his anointing. That's what the Jews were waiting for -- a heavenly ruler.
God keeps his promises.
And this state of mind, the state of mind prevailing in first-century Jews, is echoed in Christians during Advent.
Advent is the season during which we remember God's promises -- in particular the promise to the Jews, via the prophets, that this King was coming. It's a time of tense anticipation, of looking forward, of new beginnings.
There are also resonances with the second coming.
Come, thou long-expected Jesus, born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Born thy people to deliver, born a child, and yet a King;
Born to reign in us for ever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all-sufficient merit raise us to thy glorious throne.
Charles Wesley, 1707-1788
Full set of [LC] posts here.