I find it quite odd that two words so closely related, one the root of the other, have come to paint entirely different pictures in our minds. Those words are “Advent” and “Adventure.”
Speak the word “Advent,” especially during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas and hearers think primarily of liturgical and nativity scenes. Candles, creches, and communal prayers come to mind as we commemorate the coming of Christ clothed in the flesh of a newborn child.
Speak the word “Adventure,” and a plethora of visions may appear in various minds that, although entirely different in and of themselves, speak to the excitement and the anticipation of it. It is fair to say that anticipation is the very beginning of any “Adventure.” In the eyes of a child, an “Adventure” might mean the hope of getting a bicycle for Christmas or anticipating a trip to Disney World. Adventures for adults can include a mother creating a new recipe for her family or a dad looking forward to a fishing trip in Canada. For grandparents, it might be looking forward to enjoying a visit from their grandchildren during the holidays – or at any other time.
That’s a big difference between two very similar and closely related words.
Perhaps something has been lost in the translation over the years.
Adventure Lost in Translation
The etymology of” Advent” and “Adventure” is quite straightforward.
The words derive from compounding the Latin words ad and venire, meaning “to” and “come.”
“Advent” simply means “to come.”
“Adventure” was used in the 13th century to describe “a wonder, a miracle; accounts of marvelous things.” By the 14th century, it had additionally come to mean “novel or exciting incident, remarkable occurrence in one’s life.”
That’s pretty much where we are today.
Adventure Lost in Tradition
As far as I can recall, I have only heard one person actually say, “I love history,” and he has a Ph.D. in the subject.
History is replete with “accounts of marvelous things.” We spend so much time learning the dates and details that marvelous things can easily be lost on us. Even when we take the time to commemorate and celebrate some on an annual basis. Even when they are the most marvelous things that have ever happened.
We celebrate the first coming of Christ as a baby in a manger. It was His “Advent” into this world of sinner and sorrow to be Israel’s promised Messiah and the One Who would sacrifice Himself to save us from our sins.
Israel had waited for Him to come. Long before, Adam, Abraham, Isaac had waited in anticipation of His “Advent.” Each of them, and faithful others, longed for the promised One who would wondrously redeem us from our sins.
We celebrate the coming of Christ because it is the remarkable occasion on which the Lord fulfilled His promises to those who had long awaited His “Advent.”
May we not lose the absolute wonder of the miraculous account of the coming of Christ, who came not just to be a baby, but to become our Savior.
Adventure Lost in Troublesome Times
The Bible clearly speaks of troublesome times in the Last Days, just before Christ’s Second Coming – His Second “Advent.” Those troublesome times are now. Christians around the world look forward with the anticipation that His coming will be soon.
We do not know how soon that will be, but it is sooner today than it was yesterday. “Advent” does not merely look back in time, but also forward to the Blessed Hope that Jesus has promised to come again to take us to be with Him for eternity.
During this “Advent” season, we must look beyond our troublesome times, look toward the heavens, and look for Jesus’ marvelous appearance.
Now, that’s an adventure I am looking forward to. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is coming!
I can hardly wait. How about you? Let’s celebrate His first coming and look forward with great anticipation to seeing Him soon when He comes again!
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