The Christmas season is upon us. All the hustle and bustle with shopping, parties, pictures and cards. The kids have made their lists for Santa. Moms and Dads are wrapping gifts for under the tree.
Let’s take a moment, or several, and remember why we celebrate Christmas.
Through prophecy fulfilled, Jesus, the Savior of the World was sent to us so we may live in eternal peace with Him when we leave this world. Christmas – we celebrate Jesus’ birth and God’s love for us.
As a child growing up we celebrated Advent every week, the candles, the scripture, the prayers. Now as a mom, we celebrate each week with our church family and I pray that my children will cherish this tradition and carry on with their families as well.
Advent defined, according to Webster’s Dictionary is the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting. It also means the coming of Christ at the incarnation and the second coming.
These 4 Sundays each have symbols to help us pray and remember how God loved us to send his Son for the hope and love from God the world had been waiting for.
The wreath is shaped in a perfect circle to symbolize the eternity of God. The greenery used are evergreen branches laid flat to symbolize eternal life.
Four candles (traditionally red) stand in the circle and each one represents one of the four Sundays of Advent. In the center of the circle is a fifth candle (traditionally white), the Christ Candle, which is lit on Christmas Day.
Purple represents the sovereignty of Christ, so for weeks 1, 2 and 4, the purple candles are lit. The pink candle, which represents Joy, is lit for the 3rd week.
Today, we light one purple candle, the candle of hope. Advent is a time of waiting and hoping. In that time the world had been waiting for the promised messiah, in a dark time when there seemed to be no hope. In God’s perfect time…a promise fulfilled. Things were in motion to make way for the Savior of the world. Our hope is in the Lord, Mary had hope when she heard of her cousin who was barren was 3 months pregnant. With God all things are possible. We have hope in the Lord because Jesus came and died and conquered death so we may have life with him eternal. Advent is not only a time to prepare for the birth of Jesus, but a time to reflect on our hope of what is to come, Jesus return, our eternal rest with Him in heaven, and the fact that we have hope that He always is there, fighting for us, healing us, loving us.
Verses for Hope in the Lord
Psalm 33:20 – We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
Isaiah 40:31 – but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Luke 1:36-37 – Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.we all
1 Peter 1:3 – 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,
Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lod himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a som, and will call him Immanuel
I pray that God gives you Hope in any circumstance you are in. Being a Christian was never promised to be an easy ride, we all have those valleys in life when all things seem hopeless. God loves you too much to let you down, He will chase you down in the deepest darkest places of your heart. He is always there. He is your Hope!!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us so much that you made a way…a way of Hope of life, peace, joy, and love. Hope in eternal life with you through your son Jesus, whom you sent for us when we didn’t deserve it. Jesus was the promise of Hope and you fulfilled that promise so we may live with you forever.