advent begins…hope, preparation, joy, love

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Today marks the beginning of the Christian celebration of Advent. Advent is a time of spiritual reflection and celebration leading up to the birth of Christ on December 25th.  Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. The word ‘Advent’ is from the Latin word “Adventus,” which means “coming.” It is more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth and the Word of God. It is the spiritual journey of us all, as we affirm that Christ, our Savior, has come, that He is ever-present in our world today, and that He will reign again.

Part of the tradition is reading scriptures from the Bible that tell the story of Jesus’ birth day.  Skip on over at Life, Family, Faith, Culture and… there Michael has a great daily Bible reading list. His selected readings tell the story of events leading up to Jesus’ birth and should take less than 3 minutes a night to read. The girls and I also went to the library yesterday and picked up books to read during Advent. I think these books will make it easier for the girls to comprehend the story. They deliver the message from the Bible in simpler terms, but still staying true to the Gospels.

Books: The Nativity, Hear the Angels Sing, Celebrate Christmas, and The Christmas Story.

Along with scripture reading, there is the tradition of lighting the Advent candles.

The candles are traditionally lit in the following order: purple, purple, pink, purple, white. The first is called the “Candle of Hope.” It symbolizes faith in God keeping his promises to humanity. The second is called the “Candle of Preparation,” reminding Christians to “get ready” to receive God. The third candle is the “Candle of Joy.” It recalls the angels joyfully singing about the birth of Christ. The fourth candle, the “Candle of Love,” reminds Christians that God loves them enough to send his only Son to Earth. The “Christ Candle,” the white candle in the center, stands for Jesus Christ himself. {Source:}

In last few years we, as a family, have celebrated Advent by attending church every Sunday leading up to Christmas. There, the Advent candles are lit. And then there is the girls’ favorite, the Advent chocolate calendar to count down to Christmas. The girls love the chocolate treat everyday. Who wouldn’t? But I have found myself asking, “Is that enough?” The resounding answer is: NO.
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So, this year we are celebrating for 25 days “The Reason for the Season”…the real meaning of Christmas. It’s not the gifts, they will be forgotten in a few weeks. It’s not the decorations, those will be boxed up on December 26th. It’s not about finding the “prefect” present, that is too stressful. It’s not about spend too much money and maxing out credit cards. It’s not even the holiday parties, although fun, they don’t last long. Through the Word we can learn the reason for the season. The Lord Jesus Christ was born to show us love, hope and give us everlasting life. That is truly a reason to celebrate! How will you celebrate?
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

4 thoughts on “advent begins…hope, preparation, joy, love

  1. I read a quote from Roy L. Smith. “He who has not christmas in his heart will not find it under a tree.” It is to remind us that we are here for something besides ourselves.


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