By Sandy Kirby Quandt
November 30, 2014. The first day of Advent. The time set aside to reflect on the coming of the Good News to the world through the announcement of Jesus the Messiah’s birth. A time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas before the hustle-bustle of man’s commercialism inundates and overwhelms.
According to a devotional I read last year, “Advent is a time of preparation and expectation. It is a time of hope and faith and longing. Our anticipation rises during Advent and then our hopes are fulfilled on Christmas with the birth of Jesus.”
For Mary the mother of Jesus, her preparation, expectation, and anticipation lasted throughout her nine months of pregnancy. This was a time of hope and faith for her, too.
For many of us, our preparation begins and ends with the outward expressions of the arrival of December 25. We decorate, bake, clean, shop, visit, attend festive parties and holiday performances…
Sometimes we busy ourselves with others’ expectations, and find we are exhausted and maybe even a little resentful of those demands.
Part of my Advent tradition is lighting one candle on each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. On the 25th, Jesus’ birthday, the fifth candle is lit.
Is the Advent Wreath part of your tradition, too? If so, might I suggest we make it more than a ritual or habit? More than something else to check off our already too busy to-do list?
Don’t you think we should use it as an additional time to reflect on what Jesus’ birth means to us, to the world, as we light those candles?
God didn’t send his son into this world to condemn it, but he sent Jesus so we all could be saved through him.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” Luke 1:26-33 (NTL)
I wish you well.
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Thanks, Needed this.
Me, too. 🙂 It’s too easy to get caught up in the rush of the world’s idea of Christmas, and forget what it’s truly about, isn’t it?