Having a special guest come to my house is always exciting. Sometimes I am so thrilled that I’ll count down the days, plan special dinners, and try to put the house in perfect order. Advent is all about someone special coming. Advent means “to come.” It celebrates that Jesus came and stepped into our history in the form of a baby. Advent celebrates our great God’s coming to bring salvation to man.
In honor of this advent season, I wanted to share a few ways that you and your family can remember Jesus’ first coming as well as anticipate his second coming.
1. Buy or make an Advent Wreath:
Advent wreaths serve as a reminder of Jesus’ coming and help prepare our hearts for Jesus’ second coming. Just as Anna and Simeon anticipated Jesus’ coming (Luke 2:25-30), so we can anticipate Christ’s second coming as well as celebrate his first coming.
What is the significance of an Advent Wreath?
- The evergreen of the wreath reminds us of Jesus’ love. God’s love has no beginning and no end.
- There are five candles in the wreath. A white candle stands in the center, three purple and one pink candle also stand amid the greenery. The first purple candle is called Prophecy, and is significant for hope. Author of The ADVENTure of Christmas, Lisa Whelchel says, “It invites us to thank God for the hope we have in Jesus, the prophesied Messiah” (6).
- The second purple candle is called Bethlehem, and is significant for peace. “In Bethlehem, the Prince of Peace was born so that we sinners could be at peace with our holy God” (6).
- The pink candle is the Shepherd’s candle, and is significant for joy. This candle celebrates the good tidings of great joy that Jesus Christ was born in human form and would take away the sins of the world (6).
- The third purple candle is called Angel and is significant for love (6). Like the angels proclaimed on the day of Jesus’ birth we too can say, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:24).
- The white candle is also representing love- Christ’s love. “Love has entered our world through the birth of Jesus” (6). The baby Jesus would grow up and die a sinner’s death on the cross to take away our sins. This is the greatest love and it is worth celebrating.
How do I use an Advent Wreath?
- Light the first purple candle on the fourth Sunday before Christmas.
- On the next Sunday, light the first purple candle again and then light the second purple candle as well.
- The next Sunday (two weeks before Christmas) light the two purple candles and then light the pink one.
- On the Sunday before Christmas, light the two purple candles, the pink one, and then light the final purple one.
- On Christmas Day light all of the candles. The white one is lit last (7).
Each week as you light a candle talk about what they represent and celebrate that part of Jesus’ coming.
2. Another Idea is to buy or make and advent calendar:
An advent calendar simply counts down the days until Christmas. This can help children anticipate celebration Jesus’ first coming on Christmas day.
Enjoy celebrating Jesus this Advent season!