Sunday, November 27, 2011

Let's Celebrate Advent . . . Expectation . . . We Have Hope!

Christmas is only four weeks away!!! I love Christmas and I love celebrating, so Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year! As we begin Advent, let's take a moment to stop and focus on the reason for the season and celebrating! Advent is about waiting and anticipation. Before Jesus' birth, God's people waited for Him to come. Now, after His birth, we wait for His return. We anticipate with great joy the day Jesus returns for us and Advent helps us not only celebrate His birth, but look forward to His return!

There is a lot of symbolism related to Advent - 

  • The circle of the wreath points us to God; His eternity, love, holiness and endless grace which, like a circle, has no beginning or end. 
  • The green of the wreath reminds us of the hope which we have in God . . . the hope of new and eternal life. 
  • The Candles celebrate the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son!
  • The light of the candles reminds us Jesus is the light of the world Who came to bring us forgiveness, life, and hope! It also reminds us we are called to be a light to the world around us as we reflect the light of God's grace to others. (Matthew 5:16)

So . . . this is the first week of Advent and the first candle calls us to an Expectation or Hope as we anticipate the return of Jesus just as God's people looked for the coming of an Anointed One, their Messiah so long ago. Since Jesus' birth we wait with expectation and with hope the second Advent in which He will return to this world! As you celebrate Advent focus this week on the Hope we have in Jesus and on shining like a light in our dark world so those without Hope will see and be drawn to Jesus!

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