The word Advent comes from the Latin adventus, meaning “arrival” or “coming” from the word advenire (ad- “to” venire “come”). Advent is a reminder of how the Jewish people waited for the Messiah and how Christians wait for the second coming of Christ, today.
The prophet Isaiah foresaw the coming of the Messiah, “A voice is crying out, ‘Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough places become plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:3-5)
For hundreds of years, faithful Christians have observed the four weeks leading up to Christmas Day as a special time to prepare their hearts, but these practices have changed over time. The first mention of Advent is found in ancient writings dating back to the sixth century, with some anecdotal mentions as early as AD 380 at the Spanish Council of Saragossa! So not only is it an old Christian practice, but it’s also a very personal one, as churches have adapted the practice to suit their local congregations. This year at Grace the four weeks leading up to Christmas will be:
- Week 1: The Hope Candle – Today, November 28
- Week 2: The Preparation Candle (Prophets) – Sunday, December 5
- Week 3: The Joy Candle – Sunday, December 12
- Week 4: The Love Candle – Sunday, December 19
- Christmas Eve – The Christ Candle, December 24
We will honor our widows within our fellowship this year by hearing them read the scriptures related to each candle’s lighting. Our deacons will join them by leading in prayer. We will join the shepherds who first came to see the Christ child, “Come, let us go straightway to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” (Luke 2:15)
Come and See Jesus!