Monday, November 28, 2011

They Saw the Light

Yesterday during Sunday worship we lit the first of four Advent Candles.  Advent (from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming") is a season observed as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus at Christmas. Although there is plenty of evidence that Jesus was not born on December 25th (it is more likely that he was born during the time of Rosh Hashanah on the Hebrew calendar), Christmas is still a great time to celebrate the greatest gift to humankind - the coming of our Savior.

The Latin adventus is the translation of the Greek word parousia, commonly used in reference to the Second Coming of Christ. Therefore, for Christians, the season of Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ's return.

That's me on the right
I have early memories of celebrating Advent. It has been a vital part of our family's devotional life.  It was time devoted to the singing of hymns and carols, reading the Scriptures, and the lighting of candles. At the end of each Advent devotion we sang:

Come into my heart
Come into my heart
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus
Come into today
Come in to stay
Come into my heart Lord Jesus.

My grandson Timothy
During this season of Advent, I would invite you to join our family in centering your hearts on the coming King!  Create an advent experience.  Use five candles. Four candles will be red, blue, or purple in color.  The fifth is white. You can purchase an Advent stand or wreath at a Christian bookstore or supply house.  You might want to create your own using a log or metal/glass stands for pillar candles.  You will light and relight the first candle during the first week of Advent.  You will light two candles the second week, three candles the third and four candles on the fourth week.  The white candle is lit on Christmas Eve.

During the Advent season of 1990, I wrote a devotional to be used as a candlelight worship.  I entitled it: "They Saw the Light."  Over the next several days and weeks I would like to walk with you through that devotional.  I again invite you to prepare your candles but more importantly to prepare your hearts as we set our hope and faith on the coming of our King - our Lord Jesus!  Advent has begun! Light your first candle.  Sing songs of praise!  Ask the Lord to come anew into your heart today!

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