The Reason for the Season
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.
Wait! Stop! Slow Down!
Let’s take a moment, or several, and remember why we celebrate Christmas.
For me, I am a Christian, and it means the birth of our Savior. I try not to get too caught up in the materialism of Christmas. Yes, my children receive gifts and we have a tree, but they know that Jesus is the reason for the season and He is the one we celebrate.
I have wanted to do an online advent celebration, for many years. When I was working in the private sector, I had this idea to involve our patients and followers on social media with an online advent calendar.
I posted daily verses to take us to the birth of Jesus. The candles and wreath were not involved, but I really want to share the tradition that my family did while I was growing up. What do the candles symbolize? What is the meaning of the wreath and the greenery? Each week we focus on one of the four virtues Jesus brings us.
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, Candles, and Colors
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.
This post represents the first week of Advent which starts on the first Sunday
WEEK 1: HOPE
Today, we light one purple candle, the candle of hope. Advent is a time of waiting and hoping. 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 hop 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. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.
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,
Would you like to join us for the celebration?
I am super excited to be sharing this with my followers. My faith is what makes me who I am in my business and family. I really hope you enjoy our Reason for the Season series. I will be posting weekly during Advent, for the weekly lighting of the candles, verse and prayers.
Thank you for letting me share one of my favorite traditions.
What traditions do you celebrate? Do you celebrate Christmas, or another holiday? Leave me a comment and tell me about it. Ya’ll are the best!!