The Advent Season Is More Than A Cute Calendar
We’ve all seen those cute little Advent calendars. You know the ones. Cute little pictures that count out the days until Christmas with a piece of chocolate.
This past Sunday was the beginning of the Advent season. What does Advent really mean to us and for us?
Advent is from the Latin adventus (Greek parousia), and it means “coming” or “arrival.” The Advent Season is all about anticipating the arrival of Jesus as Messiah.
The Advent Season is four weeks and four themes. A circular wreath of evergreens is set with four candles around the outside and one in the center.
First Sunday of Advent
This is the candle of HOPE. Our inheritance is reserved in heaven. We have a living hope through the resurrection of Christ from the dead. We have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our Hope comes from God.
1 Peter 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
Romans 15:12-13 And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust.
Second Sunday of Advent
This is the candle of PEACE. Peace comes to our lives if we turn from evil and do good. The Lord watches over the righteous and hears their prayers
1 Peter 3:10-12 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”
Luke 3:4-6 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation.”
Third Sunday of Advent
This is the candle of JOY. We have inexpressible joy even though we have trials because our faith is being tested and proven genuine. The end of this faith is the salvation of our souls.
1 Peter 1:6-9 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Luke 2:7-15 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the LORD appeared to them, and the glory of the LORD shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the LORD. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the LORD has told us about.”
Fourth Sunday of Advent
This is the candle of LOVE. God sent His Son because He loves us. We can show God’s love when we love one another with a pure heart. We have been born again through the Word of God which lives and abides forever.
1 Peter 1:22-23 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
One Candle Remains.
The candle in the center of the wreath is white and called the Christ Candle. This candle is in the center to remind us that Jesus is the heart of the season. He is the sinless, spotless Lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins!
John 3:1-8 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
The Advent Season Is More Than A Cute Calendar