Yesterday during church service, we began the celebratory event of lighting the first Advent candle representing hope. Advent is celebrated during a four-week period leading up to December 25. Each Sunday a candle is lit and an Advent reading representing each week’s theme is read.
The First Sunday of Advent Reading is based on HOPE, with a scripture reading found in Isaiah 9:2: “The people walking in darkness have a seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Hope signifies a promise which God made to the people of Israel that a child would be born who would be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
The Second Sunday of Advent Reading is based on PREPARATION, with a scripture reading found in Isaiah 40:3-5: “A voice of one calling ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” This time of preparation is a waiting time for the prophecy to be fulfilled.
The Third Sunday of Advent Reading is based on JOY, with a scripture reading found in Mathew 2:11: “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of frankincense and myrrh.” Joy signifies peace.
The Fourth Sunday of Advent Reading is based on LOVE, with a scripture reading found in John 3:16-19: “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. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” LOVE is represented by adoration for the one whom God sent to redeem the world.
The Fifth Sunday (or Christmas Eve service) of Advent Reading is John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” The Word represents Jesus Christ who was God’s one and only Son–the Savior of the world.
The lighting of the candles each week, along with the significant readings and scriptures, allows Christians all around the world to “quiet their hearts during a very hectic holiday season and worship Jesus.” This is what the holiday season is about: Jesus is the reason for the season. May we impart this significant event on our children and their children as we worship our Lord and Savior together and meditate on the hope, preparation (faith), joy (peace), and love (adoration) during this blessed time.
May the Lord bless you and yours.
NOTE: For additional information on Advent, go to Crosswalk.com; and for additional Advent devotions, read the Advent devotional book, “Unwrapping the Names of Jesus” by Asheritah Ciuciu this Advent season.