Introducing Advent 2016
Delayed gratification is certainly an art. Why wait for something we can have now? For that, our culture has invented microwaves, credit cards, and even Netflix adds entire seasons of a show at a time so we don’t have to wait from week to week to follow a story. But we reap a greater reward when we give something the time it deserves–a good marinade or a vacation for which we’ve been saving for years.
Advent is like the marinade of the Christmas season. It starts four weeks before Christmas to prepare our hearts for the true revelation of Christmas–a small child who came to bring hope, peace, love, joy, and light to the world.
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word Adventus and literally means “coming.” During these four weeks, Advent reminds us to anticipate the coming of our great King. This anticipation is twofold: It prepares us for the first coming of the Christ child–a baby born of a virgin, the promised Savior—and it keeps us ready for his second coming–the moment when Christ returns to restore perfection and righteousness to our broken world.
So in eager anticipation, we sing with the chorus of God’s people, the church, “Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel.” This season of Advent, we invite you to join with us and with the Church to prepare our hearts and anticipate his coming.
Come, Lord Jesus, Emmanuel.
Each Sunday of Advent introduces a new theme of the season. As such, traditionally Sundays are rather meaningful. In these posts, Sundays include a short explanation of the theme, Scripture readings, a discussion question, a weekly challenge or application, and an opportunity to light the Advent candles.
The Advent Candles
There are five candles associated with Advent. They traditionally serve as reminders of the season of waiting or longing we experience during Advent. Three of the five are purple in color–a color of mourning. Lighting the purple candles reminds us of how dire our situation really is without a Savior. There is one pink candle–this candle is lit towards the end of Advent during the week we are to contemplate and anticipate joy. Pink is a color of relief from the monotony and grief of the purple candles. And lastly, the white candle represents the light of Christ. Lit on Christmas Eve, the white candle signifies the destruction of darkness with the arrival of our Savior. Each week we encourage you to read the Scriptures on Sunday and light the candle for that week along with the candles of the previous weeks.
We hope these posts over the next few week help prepare your heart and mind for the celebration of the Christ child and reminds you of the true meaning of this wonderful season!