This week I saw a Star Wars Advent Calendar and it took me by surprise. It was simply a countdown to Christmas Day and so far removed from the original intent of the Advent season.
Advent means the coming of something extremely important and awaited! At Christmas time we traditionally celebrant the Advent season, the season where we remember the birth of the long awaited Christ child, the Savior of the world.
Traditionally this season begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Day. Each Sunday a candle is lit to symbolize an aspect of this special event in Christian history.
As we prepare for Christmas by getting our presents and food and homes ready for the celebration of family and friends, we are wise to also pay attention to preparing our hearts for the celebration of all the Christ child brings to our hearts and lives.
The first candle is the candle of HOPE, which portrays the expectancy of the coming of the Savior to reconcile each one of us to God, no longer left to our own struggling ways.
The second candle is the candle of PEACE, which symbolizes the preparation of the heart in getting ready for the presence of the Christ. His presence in our hearts brings peace. Advent can be a time of reorienting the heart toward God and toward peace in the midst of the busy running and spending that tends to occupy the season with frenzy.
The third candle symbolizes JOY as Christ’s presence occupies our hearts with His hope and His peace bringing a fulfillment deep within. This joy goes far deeper and far beyond any surface happiness of the cultural party season.
The forth candle is the candle of LOVE that represents the unconditional, limitless love of God for each individual regardless of past or present circumstance. This love reaches to the depths to retrieve, restore, release, refresh and renew hearts that are weary and worn from going their own way apart from God. His love in us enables us to love others.
The fifth candle is the candle we light on Christmas Day and it symbolizes the CHRIST who is the go between, the conduit, the One who brings this Hope, this Peace, this Joy and this Love God offers into our hearts in a practical and daily way as we invite Him to forgive us and fill us and to simply “do life” with us through His power.
“For unto us a child is born, … and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Father God, Thank you that You reached out to connect with me through sending Jesus on that very first Christmas. I open my heart to Him in a fresh way this Advent season to fill me afresh with Your hope, peace, joy and love so that it overflows in my life with fresh meaning and purpose. I pray this in the powerful name of Your Son, Jesus, amen.
By Gail Rodgers
Used by Permission
- The Christmas Story: Does It Still Matter?
- Great Expectations for Christmas
Rather than be driven by a list of expectations, there is a better way to approach Christmas.
Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/
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