A Four Week Advent Devotional
Dedicated to my family who have been my best teachers and my best students, and to the people of Galilee Church.
“Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God Almighty -the one who always was, who is and who is still to come.”Revelation 4:8
“Prepare the way of the Lord” serves as a main theme of this season. As we get ready for Christmas, we should not neglect to prepare our lives for Jesus, who came as “the light of the world.” His light penetrated a dark world, which allowed all to see their Messiah, and the hope of their future.
Today we need to be prepared for the coming of Christ. Learning more about what the Bible reveals about Christ’s return will enable us to understand the possible significance of world events.
Be ready and watchful, for the light of the world has come and will surely come again.
“The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of the earth – the very thing the whole story has been about. ”C.S. Lewis
Advent is the first season in the church calendar. Since the 71h century A.D., Christians have included this celebration in their preparation for Christmas Day. Beginning four Sundays before Christmas, its purpose is twofold: first, it prepares us for the celebration of the birth of Christ and second, it reminds us that we are eagerly waiting for Jesus’ return in glory.
The word “advent” originates from the Latin word advenio which means coming to. Advent is the time when we focus on Christ coming to the world. Throughout history, the Israelites anticipated the coming of their Messiah. In the Old Testament, over 400 scriptures and prophecies outline His birth, life, death, resurrection, and return. God had a plan to redeem His people. He declared His plan to His prophets over the centuries and is fulfilling His Word even now.
The wreath is a circle of evergreens. The circle represents God’s love for us, which has no beginning and no end. It is also the shape of a crown, similar to the crown of thorns Jesus wore at His death, and the crown He will wear as King of Kings. The evergreens represent eternal life, which is ours through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Four candles are placed in the edge of the wreath, and one is placed in the center. Three of the candles are purple, representing Christ as the King (royalty), Christ as the Redeemer (penitence) and Christ as the Light (the color of the dawn before the light of the sun enters the world each day).
One candle is pink, the Joy Candle, which represents the joy in knowing Christ. The white candle placed in the center of the wreath is the Christ Candle, representing the purity and holiness of Jesus Christ.
The Ordering of Light
The celebration of Advent begins by lighting one purple candle on the fourth Sunday preceding Christmas. Each Sunday a new candle is lit, adding to the light of the previously lit candles, causing the wreath to shine more brightly each week.
Two purple candles are lit on the second Sunday, the pink candle is added on the third Sunday and four candles arc lit on the fourth Sunday. The white candle is lit on Christmas Eve.
Gumbel, Nicky. Why Christmas? Cook Ministry Resources, 1991, 1997
Hayford, Jack W. Hayford’s Bible Handbook, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995
Hudson, Christopher D, Smith, Carol Weidemann, Valerie.
Bible Clues for the Clueless Promise Press, 1999
The Coming of the Light, Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany at Galilee Episcopal Church, 1980
The Bible translations used are:
- New International Version
- New King James Version
- New Living Translation
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