The Advent season is upon us. A tradition started by Christians in the Middle Ages. A season set aside to contemplate and reflect on the coming of Jesus. Christians around the world continue this time honored tradition as a central part of their Christmas celebration.
So what is Advent and how can you join the tradition? Advent is a Latin word meaning come. It begins four Sundays before Christmas and it is all about Jesus breaking into the everyday world of man to take His rightful place.
Advent can be observed as a weekly devotional time and can also be celebrated with the lighting of candles in a table top wreath. The circle of the wreath represents the endless mercy of God. The candles are a reminder of His great mercy demonstrated in the coming of Jesus. Each Sunday, the designated candle is lit following a time of reflection and prayer. The wreath sets in a prominent place as a daily reminder of the beautiful Christmas message to keep our heart set and focused on Jesus.
Purple is the primary color of Advent, symbolizing, repentance, fasting and also the royalty and sovereignty of the coming Christ. Pink is used on the third week to represent joy and a move away from repentance toward celebration. White is the final color, chosen to represent the sinless nature of Jesus.
Week 1: Purple Candle – Hope
Week 2: Purple Candle – Peace
Week 3: Pink Candle – Joy
Week 4: Purple Candle – Love
Christmas Eve – White Candle – Purity and Light
Always remember, Advent is not about a wreath, but about anticipation, preparation, and waiting. It is about the truth of hope, joy, love, and peace coming fully into our lives. It is about the truth of God’s gift of Jesus and His presence in His world.
On Christmas Day, Advent culminates in the sweet celebration of Jesus, a babe, grown to a man, the Savior of the world.
I hope you join in the next few weeks to read and reflect as the first Advent of Jesus is celebrated.
May hope, joy, peace and love mark your Christmas season and your every day!
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…”
John 1:9-12 (ESV)