Saturday, December 12, 2015

Advent Thoughts from Pastor Robert Schuller

Advent is a season of waiting, expecting, and hoping. Beginning four Sundays prior to Christmas and ending on Christmas Eve, Advent helps us prepare for the coming, or “advent” of the Christ child at Christmas. The word “advent” comes from the Latin word that means “coming.”

When I was pastoring Rancho Capistrano Church each year we would celebrate the four Sundays prior to Christmas by selecting a different church family each week who would do a special reading.  Singles, Couples, and families with children would stand up in front of the congregation and read a short devotional that followed with the lighting of a specific candle for that week.  It was a very special tradition, that we practiced for as long as I was at Rancho Capistrano.  Some years we  even made advent wreaths to take home and light together as a family.
 This year we have made an advent wreath to share with The Gathering in San Jose' del Cabo, Mexico.  This Sunday we will chose someone to read a devotional and light one of the candles.  It is the third Sunday in Advent so they will light a blue candle.     

Found all of this today at our local fabric store here in SJD, MX.  God is good!
For hundreds of years, Christians have used an Advent wreath to inspire their hopes for the coming of Christ. By lighting candles and reading Bible verses, we are reminded about the meaning of Christ’s birth and become more excited about his coming in the past, in the future, and in our own lives.
There is no set meaning for the candles of the Advent wreath (except for the middle candle, which always signifies the birth of Jesus the Christ and is often called the Christ Candle). We typically adhere to the candles pointing to peace, hope, joy, and love. They can also be identified with key figures in the stories of the birth of Jesus, such as the shepherds, the angels, Joseph, and Mary.
Advent wreaths employ candles with a variety of colors. Some wreaths use all white candles; we use three purple or (could only find blue this year), one pink candle, and one white candle in the middle. I share an understanding of the Advent wreath with many Christians for whom the purple candles remind us of how serious and solemn God’s people have been in waiting for the Messiah. The pink signifies the joy of our waiting. The white is triumphant and celebratory because Christ is born.  The white candle is always lit on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Day.
I hope that you will find the time to go out and make your own Advent Wreath to use the next two Sundays before Christmas.  It's a fun tradition for you and your family.

God Loves You and So Do I1
Pastor Robert Schuller

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