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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday Sermonette - Advent: How?

How does a person  celebrate Advent?

In our church, we have an Advent Wreath, a typical evergreen-branch circle with three purple candles and one pink one on the circle, and one white one in the middle. Each Sunday, a family group reads something that has to do with expectantly waiting for the Lord's birth, and one of them will light one or more candles.

On the first Sunday in Advent, one candle is lit; on the second one, two candles; and so on until Christmas Eve when all are lit, including the Christ candle in the middle. Each of the candles is representative of something special.

The first candle (one of the purple ones) is called the Candle of Prophecy or Hope. We reflect on the many times the Old Testament of the Bible talked about the coming King of Kings, the Savior.

The second one (another of the purple ones) is the Bethlehem Candle or the Candle of Preparation. We think about how we can prepare ourselves for the coming King. We sweep out jealousies, offences, and bad habits that separate us from not only God but from each other.

The third is the Shepherd Candle or Candle of Joy (the pink one). What a joy this season can be if we truly celebrate the coming King. The shepherds were given the message to not be afraid and that great joy was theirs in the form of a tiny Baby. Is He your joy too?

The fourth is the Angle Candle or Candle of Love. There's a song we enjoy singing during the Advent season in our church called "Love Came Down at Christmas." This is such a reminder that God the Father loved us so much He sent us His only begotten Son. Think about it--would you have given your first child into the hands of people who didn't have a clue how special He was?

And the fifth is the white candle, the Christ Candle, lit on Christmas Eve when Jesus's birth is traditionally celebrated. It always fills me with awe to think that God the Son gave up His throne and came to earth as a helpless Babe, unable to feed, clothe, bathe, or speak for himself; He came from untold riches and comfort to a scratchy bed of hay to parents who had little but a donkey to their names. Talk about humbling.

Stay in this groove during this Advent. Think about His coming, make His way straight to your heart, and take on His humility and love.

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