Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Welcome Back to Advent

Dear friends (and those who may have stumbled upon this blog),

If you have joined me the last few years, you are probably familiar with Advent. For any new readers, this reintroduction will serve as an education.

In latin the word "adventus" means "coming." Within the context of western Christianity, Advent is the season of four weeks leading up to Christmas--the celebration of Christ's birth. It is a time of joyful expectation and preparation. The four weeks are marked by the four Sundays, on which the candles of the Advent wreath are lit.

This year I wanted to make my own Advent wreath. My parents have a great ceramic wreath they light each year and I’ve seen many Advent wreaths in churches, but I wanted to make one that fit me and my apartment.

Here’s a little info about why we light a wreath of candles at Advent. I took this from the Christian ResourceInstitute’s website:

“The circle of the wreath reminds us of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy, which has no beginning or end. The evergreen on the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life. Candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son. The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, which themselves symbolize the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.

The first candle is traditionally the candle of Expectation or Hope. The remaining three candles of Advent may be associated with different aspects of the Advent story in different churches, or even in different years. Usually they are organized around characters or themes as a way to unfold the story and direct attention to the celebrations and worship in the season. So, the sequence for the remaining three Sundays might be Bethlehem, Shepherds, Angels. Or Love, Joy, Peace.  Or John the Baptist, Mary, the Magi. Or the Annunciation, Proclamation, Fulfillment.”

For our purposes, we will be following the order: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love.

I will be writing within these themes, focusing on poems and reflections from some of the great writers in Christendom, as well as passages of Scripture that point to the coming of the Messiah. Christ's ancestry was indeed a Lineage of Expectation--a chronology of hopeful longing and preparation. 

Thanks for joining me this season!

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