The Season of Advent
The Advent season is upon us. It is a time of preparation. The coming of God
into the world through Jesus Christ our Lord changes everything. The word
“advent” comes to us through the Latin word “adventus” which means “coming” .
It is a time that we remember the anticipation of the coming of the Christ child and it is also a hope about our future for the second coming.
The Sunday closest to November 30 is the first Sunday of Advent. The last Sunday of Advent comes at the last Sunday before December 25. The first Sunday of Advent also signifies the new liturgical year of the Church. It is the new beginning of the Church calendar. The color for the Advent season is purple. It signifies the majesty which heralds the coming of the King of Kings.
You will notice that we light a candle that rests on a wreath each week during Advent. Each of the candles and the wreath has special meaning. The wreath is in the form of a circle which reminds us of God. God’s mercy and grace is endless. There is no beginning and no end. The green reminds us of eternal life. The candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of Jesus.
You will notice that there are different colors for the candles. There are three purple candles, one pink candle and one white candle. Sometimes you will see three blue candles in place of the purple candles. Each of the candles represents a feature of Christ. The first candle lit is purple and it represents Hope. The second candle lit the following week is purple also and represents peace. The third week the pink candle is lit. It is in celebration of Mary, the virgin mother that will give birth to the
baby Jesus. This candle represents joy. The fourth candle is purple and represents love. The white candle is lit on Christmas Eve. It is called the Christ candle.
Advent is a time of reflection for us. It is a time to acknowledge that Christ came to live among us and amongst all of our struggles. Advent is a time for us to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and to thank God that we have Jesus in our lives as our Savior and bring us new life.
In Advent we look back to the experience of Israelites as they yearned for God to forgive their sin
and restore their nation. We put ourselves in their shoes as they hoped for the coming of the Messiah.
Thus we ready our hearts to celebrate the good news of Christmas.
In a nutshell Advent is about us having to wait. It is about delayed gratification. Advent is a time for us to think about a deeper level and to get in touch with our spiritual discipline of waiting. In our waiting, joy is intensified. When we have to wait for something, the joy we receive is much greater than not having to wait. By waiting these few weeks in the celebration of Advent and preparing for it, when we finally light the Christ candle on Christmas Eve, our joy spills over as we finally get to sing “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.”
Take time this Advent season to remember what the season is really all about. We may give gifts to others that we know others will cherish, but remember that we all receive the best gift of all, Jesus. Merry Christmas.
Grace and Peace,