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A Christmas Advent - Rediscovering Christmas

Timothy is a Christian who enjoys creating visual art and writing. He has a B.S. in Psychology.

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The Advent

Advent, is the time of the year when churches celebrate the birth of Jesus. In some denominations part of the celebration includes the lighting of a candle on an Advent wreath each week.

There are four candles, one for each of the weeks leading up to Christmas and a fifth center candle. Each candle has a meaning. The four candles on the outside of the wreath stand for hope, love, joy and peace. The fifth candle, the center candle, celebrates the birth of Jesus.

The First Candle - Hope

The first candle is sometimes referred to as the Prophets candle.

The Bible says in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

The prophets pointed to the hope of a coming Savior who would redeem a lost people. This is the hope of Christmas which comes with the first candle. Light the first candle.

A Poem of Hope

Christmas brings

A spirit of hope

What’s asked for

We’ll receive

But, the true hope of Christmas

Lies in a manger

A babe born

To offer some hope

To the hopeless

The Second Candle - Love

The second candle is sometimes referred to as the Bethlehem candle and it stands for faith or love.

The Bible says in John 3:16,“For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

While this is technically not a Christmas verse. It is the reason Jesus was born in a manger over two thousand years ago, God‘s love for His creation. The love of the candle is the gift but it takes faith to accept the gift and receive eternal life. Light the second candle.

A Poem of Love

Christmas brings

A feeling of love

But true love

Only comes

When you give up everything

For those who call you

Enemy

Only then

Will you know what is

The true joy

The true peace

The true hope of what we call

The Christmas Season

The Third Candle - Joy

The third candle is sometimes referred to as the Shepherd's candle.

The Bible says in. Luke 2:10, And the Angel said to them (the shepherds), “Fear not, for behold I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born on the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord.”

There is a reason why the an Angel came to the Shepherds first. They would be the ones to understand the meaning of the rest of the verse about a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.

in Jesus’ time the priests wrapped their unblemished lambs tightly in cloth then laid the lamb in a manger for safe keeping until the time of sacrifice. God was saying to the Shepherds be joyful for here is the one who was to come who will give his life as a ransom for all. Light the third candle.

A Poem of Joy

Christmas brings

Some moments of joy

Stirrings of

A light heart

But the true joy of Christmas

Comes not in giving

Or getting what you want

It’s in knowing

All we ever need

Was given

Once, for all who ask

The Fourth Candle - The Peace

The Bible says in Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

What is the peace which this verse talks about. It is not the ending of wars, or arguments, or as John Lennon sang, “We could all live as one.” All of this would be nice but it still is not what the verse is talking about. The peace the birth of Jesus brought was a knowledge that one day we would no longer be estranged from God. Through one, we would once again have a right relationship with God. Light the fourth candle.

A poem of Peace

Christmas brings

Some moments of peace

Not peace

Everlasting

But a peace ever fleeting

Without a heart rendered just

You see

True peace comes

With the knowledge

Christmas brings

A peace to come

Where the birth of a baby

Leads to salvation

On a cross

The Fifth Candle - Light

The Bible says in, “Isaiah 9:2, “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them."

The fifth or center candle signals and celebrates the light come to world. The baby Jesus born in a manger. To understand Christmas is to understand the advent. How all the pieces of hope, love, joy and peace come together to light and lighten the hearts of those who accept Jesus not only as the Savior but their Savior. Light the final candle and celebrate Christma.

A Poem of Love

At the center of

Hope, peace, joy and love

Is the Light

From above

A beacon

Lighting up the darkness

God’s son

Laid in a manger

Angels proclaim

The Shepherds

They all came

This is the meaning

Of Christmas

One Final Note

There you have the five candles of the Advent season, hope, love joy peace and the center candle of celebration. As noted before the advent is not just the lighting of candles it is the time of looking forward and finally a celebration. So this Christmas, instead of just cruising through the season take the time to contemplate the advent.

© 2021 Timothy Whitt

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