It's finally here. The season my heart has been longing for even when my head didn't recognize it. Today is the first Sunday of Advent and with it a time of slowing down and reflecting upon what the true meaning of the season is.
Today we set up our Advent wreath. We use this as a symbol to commemorate the significance of what has happened and also a way to look forward to what is to come. We use a wreath because of it's circular shape. It represents the Eternal God because it has no beginning or end. We use five different candles within our wreath. The candles put off light which grows increasingly brighter as the weeks get closer to Christmas. This reminds us that Christ is indeed the light of the world and in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5 HCSB)
On this first Sunday of Advent we light one of the outer candles, The Prophecy Candle, or the candle of hope. This candle reminds us of the hope that the prophets had in the coming Messiah. It also reminds us of the hope we have of the returning King Jesus.
This is what the prophets hoped for when they prayed about God sending the Messiah:
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; daylight has dawned on those living in the land of darkness. You have enlarged the nation and increased its joy. The people have rejoiced before You as they rejoice at harvest time and as they rejoice when dividing spoils. For You have shattered their oppressive yoke and the rod on their shoulders, the staff of their oppressor, just as You did on the day of Midian. For the trampling boot of battle and the bloodied garments of war will be burned as fuel for the fire. For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:2-6 HCSB)
Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14 HCSB)
Our current hope is in the risen Lord and His imminent return. Here is what He says:
Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 HCSB)
Heavenly Father our world is filled with darkness. We need the light that only comes from You through Your Son Jesus. Remind us of the One who was born in Bethlehem and the one who also said "I am the light of the world". May our hearts and minds turn toward You in this season where You chose to give the greatest gift of all. Amen
In honor of this prophecy we always end the evening with singing Away in a Manger.
It is our hope that your family will join ours in rejoicing in the real reason for the season . . . it is Jesus the true Light of the World.