Advent in Our World Today
The season of Advent in the Church is once again upon us. The word Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming towards.” It is a season of the church that is celebrated on the 4 Sundays before Christmas. Advent is viewed by many as a time of anticipation and expectation of the coming of Jesus. But it’s meaning is so much more than that.
One needs only to look at symbolism of the four Advent Candles to see a broader meaning for the season. One of the candles is lit during each worship service on the four Sundays. There is also a fifth candle lit in the Christmas worship service. These candles may have different meanings to different congregations.
The most common Advent candle tradition is that the first candle is the candle of hope. It represents the prophets of the old Testament waiting in hope for the coming of the Messiah. The second candle represents faith, especially the prophet Micah who foretold that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, the city in which King David was born. The third candle symbolizes joy which comes from the great joy of the shepherds when the angels announced that Jesus came for all people including humble and societal outcasts like them. The fourth candle represents peace that calls us to remember that Jesus came to bring peace by bringing all people close to God and to each other. The fifth candle represents light and purity and is called Christ’s candle to symbolize the light and the purity Jesus brought to the world.
I think that during this Advent season our world needs much more hope, faith, joy, peace and the light of Jesus Christ. Let us all do what we can to make that happen.
Michael Moorhead, Licensed Minister