The leftovers are in the tupperware in the fridge; the turkey stock is simmering on the stove; the football game marathon continues; and as we R&R our way through Thanksgiving Weekend we're also on Countdown to Advent as we prepare to ring in a New Church Year on Sunday.I first learned from Herbert O'Driscoll that Church vocabulary in the Middle Ages had two different Latin words for the future: futurus and adventus.
Looking ahead to Advent, here's what Bishop Mary Glasspool wrote in her "Unofficial Letter Volume I, Number 22 November 25, 2011:"
The word futurus denoted what lay up ahead according to what we humans could learn from the past and thus, predict into the future - weather forecasting, for example.
The word adventus, on the other hand, denoted something up ahead that was coming toward us, not necessarily based on past events, but something new. This future was an invasion from up front, as it were, from what had not yet happened.
Small wonder that the early Christian community claimed adventus as the word for their future in the light of the Good News. What they had once expected of God was not what actually came. It was an entirely new thing. Ed Schroeder of the Crossings Community, Chesterfield, MO, wrote this in 1999:
One Apostolic advertisement for adventus goes like this: "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor human heart even conceived, that what God has coming from the future toward those who trust him." I Cor. 2:9 But can anything so unconceivable be described at all, if it is so radically brand new? Paul answers yes. It is grounded in the Jesus story.Another thing to give thanks for this Thanksgiving weekend -- The adventus of Advent.