Advent is much more than a countdown to Christmas. Generations of Christians around the world consider the four weeks leading up to Christmas as time to prepare for the 'Advent' or beginning of a new age in Christ. When God came to us in flesh-and-blood, in that tiny, vulnerable infant 2000 years ago, God responded to the cries of creation for justice, restoration, and salvation. In Christ, God changed the world. But this work is not finished, and for that we are truly grateful! We continue to cry out for God to 'tear open the heavens and come down' (Isaiah 64:1) - to set things right, to heal and restore, and to end the suffering this pandemic has caused us all.
So Advent is a season of preparation. It is a time to 'let every heart prepare (Christ) room' - in anticipation of celebrating the first Advent at Christmas, and in longing for the second Advent in Christ's return. And we do this preparation by engaging in spiritual exercises like: prayer, reading scripture, giving to those in need, etc. When Christians first started marking Advent, families would light candles at home each day as they said prayers. Wreaths were used as symbols of life and creation. Eventually this morphed into the Advent wreaths we find in
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Lighting the Advent candles for Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love