To foster spiritual reflection surrounding the Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter, Advent and Lenten Devotionals are compiled annually and made available free of charge in digital and print formats. Devotional contributors include faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends of the University both near and far.
Advent is from the Latin word adventus, “coming” or “arrival.” The term is associated with the practice of many churches of observing a time of preparation for the birth of Jesus Christ.
Traditionally, the Advent season begins four Sundays before Christmas Day and continues through Christmas Eve. An additional thought associated with Advent is that it serves as a reminder that the Messiah who came the first Christmas will someday return at His Second Advent.
Lent is a 40-day period beginning on Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter. It symbolizes the 40 days that Jesus spent wandering the desert fasting and resisting Satan’s temptation. Christians practice Lent to show discipline and penance to God. Though Lent is not mentioned in the Bible, it is a tradition long accepted in the Christian church. Sundays are not counted in Lent since the primary focus of all Sundays in the Christian faith should be the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.
Lent remains a prominent part of the Christian faith. It is still characterized by sacrificing something for the Lord and focusing on spiritual growth. This includes not only fasting and prayer but partaking in new practices and acts of service that draw us closer to Christ.. It is a time for Christians to repent of sin, renew their faith, and prepare to celebrate the resurrection of their Savior. It is our prayer that the words on these pages will be used by the Holy Spirit to identify changes that need to take place in our lives to draw closer to Christ. If one person’s life is opened to God’s grace in Jesus Christ then contributors to this devotional will have the greater reward.