The Tradition of ADVENT
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Many years ago in my native country of Canada, I learned about the tradition of ADVENT. Since next Sunday is the first Sunday of ADVENT, I would like to share with you about the value and beauty of this tradition and also encourage you to celebrate it.
ADVENT is a church and family celebration, one that takes place during the four weeks prior to December 24th in preparation for remembering the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The word “ADVENT” means “coming” and mainly refers to the first coming of Jesus as a baby more than 2000 years ago. But it also includes the expectation of His second coming when our desire for a God who will reign over His people and creation in truth and righteousness will be fulfilled.
To celebrate ADVENT, it is recommended that every day during this season families at home read the passage of Scripture for that day, discuss its significance and pray in gratitude to God for the gift of His Son Jesus as Savior and Lord of the world.
ADVENT is represented by a crown – made of pine cuttings and four candles. The crown is round because it represents the eternity of God, His love and His grace that have no beginning and no end. The evergreen pine cuttings represent the hope that we have in God, the hope of being born again and having eternal life. The candles represent the light of Jesus that enters the world, illuminating the darkness brought by sin, and bringing to our lives the hope, peace, joy and love we so long for.
Christmas, at least in the Western world, has become a time of great business and busyness, many decorations, activities, shopping, parties and gifts. However, it lacks the true meaning of the season, when we ought to be thinking more deeply on the profound value of the coming of Jesus Christ to this world. Dear friend, I invite you to celebrate ADVENT this year – it will provide you a few moments every day when you will be able to rest, and open your mind and heart to Jesus who came to show you how immensely and eternally He loves you.
One of my favorite authors, the Archbishop Fulton Sheen, wrote a wonderful book called "Life of Christ". One quote from the book that has always moved me reads: “Bethlehem became a link between heaven and earth; God and man met here and looked each other in the face. In the taking of human flesh, the Father prepared it, the Spirit formed it, and the Son assumed it. He Who had an eternal generation in the bosom of the Father now had a temporal generation in time. He who had His birth in Bethlehem came to be born in the hearts of men. For, what would it profit if He was born a thousand times in Bethlehem unless He was born again in man?"
Dear friend, I hope and pray that Jesus might be born in a new and fresh way in your heart and life this ADVENT and this CHRISTMAS. I invite you to return here, to www.reflectionsforliving.com next Sunday, and then everyday in December, when you will find daily ADVENT readings and reflections, pictures, quotes, songs, CHRISTMAS memories and more. May all your ADVENT and CHRISTMAS celebrations be a great blessing in your life this year.
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