Knowing What Came Before: Fireside Chats with LCR, Part 2 - Advent

Faith Made Welcome

Nov 16 2020 • 50 mins

This week on the podcast we continue our fireside chat with Lonnie Rich! In this part of the conversation you’ll get to hear Lonnie, Cheri, and Paul take a closer look at the Advent season and its history. We look at early celebrations of Advent, how the tradition came to the Baptist church, and how it's celebrated within the CBC community.

Along with the pilgrimage through history and tradition associated with Advent, we get an opportunity to explore Lonnie’s overall approach to faith and Christianity. Listen in to learn: what brought Lonnie back to the church? We also consider why periods of preparation (Advent and Lent) are tied to both high holy holidays of the faith (Christmas and Easter). Is all this preparation really just advertising for Jesus? And finally, we ultimately fail to fully answer Paul’s burning question: what’s with the pink candle? You’ll have to tune in next week, as we chat with CBC pastors Robin and Marty to see if we’ll get an answer to that question from the real pros!

About Our Guest

Lonnie’s a long-time student of history. Once upon a time he was a history major. He’s long been a devoted reader of all things history, and just a few years ago he taught a multi-week class in the history of Christianity for CBC.  He also long served as a deacon at Commonwealth Baptist, and Cheri likes to joke that he’s “the closer” for the church. Many, many current church members might recall they went to coffee with Lonnie not long before they decided to make this place their church home. He’s a true embodiment of faith made welcome!

Topics Mentioned this Episode

While there are fewer direct references in this episode than we often have, listeners might enjoy reading further into key topics discussed in our recording:

  • Lonnie notes that advent may have first been celebrated in Spain and Gaul as a preparation for baptism, evolved into an anticipation of the second coming, and then into a celebration of the coming of Jesus. These theories of its evolution are discussed further in this article from, which also provides a nice overview of the Advent tradition: What is Advent?
  • We note that the celebration of advent became typical within the Baptist tradition only more recently. The Baptist Press article “Advent Rediscovered by Southern Baptists” discusses the impetus for this change in tradition.
  • Lonnie notes that Constantine helped establish the tradition of Christmas being observed in December, which can be explored further in this
  • Lonnie mentions his stance on propitiation (appeasing the gods) vs. soteriology (faith driven by salvation)
  • We discuss the Hanging of the Greens, chrismons that don the chrismon trees of CBC, as well as traditions involving advent wreaths and advent calendars.

About This Podcast

This podcast was envisioned as means to foster spiritual growth and conversations about faith, both within and beyond the faith community at Commonwealth Baptist Church.

Got a question or want to reach out to the Faith Made Welcome team?  You can reach us at

Faith Made Welcome is produced by Cheri Spiegel, Paul Fitzgerald and This Most Unbelievable Life.