Advent means “coming!” During Advent, we prepare for, and anticipate, the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing for, and need of, forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning. Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.
The circular advent wreath is made of evergreen to symbolize growth and everlasting life. The candles represent weeks of preparation as we are reminded of the growing light of Christ's presence.
1st Candle (purple) : Candle of HOPE or Prophecy : We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our hope comes from God. (Romans 15:12-13) Jesus is HOPE… Psalm 62:5-8, “5Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. 6He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Hope lets us choose to be defined by Whose we are
and not what we have done.
2nd Candle (purple) : Candle of LOVE or Preparation : God kept His promise of a Savior who would be born in Bethlehem. Preparation means to "get ready." Help us to be ready to welcome you, O God! (Luke 3:4-6) Jesus is LOVE… Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Christ did not love us because we are lovely, but to make us lovely. ~ Tim Keller
3rd Candle (pink) : Candle of JOY or Shepherd's Candle : The angel sang a message of JOY! (Luke 2:7-15) Jesus is JOY… Matthew 1:21-23, 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. 22All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet [Isaiah]: 23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-which means, "God with us."
JOY comes from realizing “the Lord is near!”
John 15:11, [Jesus said] “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
4th Candle (purple) : Candle of LOVE or Angel Candle : The angels announced the Good News of a Savior. God sent His only Son to earth to save us, because He loves us. (John 3:16) Jesus is PEACE… Luke 2:10-14, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great JOY that will be for ALL the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth PEACE to men on whom his favor rests."
Isaiah 9:6b, “…And He will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, PRINCE of PEACE.”
5th Candle (white) : CHRIST Candle : The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! His birth was for His death. His death was for our birth! (John 1:29)
10… at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:10-11