AdventThis time of year is called Advent. Advent is a time when Christian churches around the world celebrate the first coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a time to prepare ourselves to celebrate Jesus' birth and his work of redemption. Advent is also a time when God's people look forward to the day when Jesus will come again--his second Advent. The celebration of Advent can be traced back at least to the fourth century. The way that we celebrate Advent, however, has changed through the centuries.
Today churches begin to celebrate Advent four weeks before Christmas. In our church, Trinity Church in Teaneck, New Jersey, during the Sunday morning service we have a different family present a special Scripture reading, meditation, and lighting of one of the four Advent candles on each of the four Sundays of Advent. In addition to the candle lighting ceremony I preach a sermon to go along with that week's Advent message.
Each candle of Advent has a special meaning. The first candle of Advent is the candle of Prophecy. The candle of Prophecy reminds us that God promised to send a Savior. The promised Savior is Jesus--God's Messiah who came to save us from our sins.
The second candle of Advent is the candle of Hope. The candle of Hope reminds us that God will always be victorious over darkness. Jesus who is the light of the world can shine his glory into our lives so that no matter how dark the world may seem, we can always have hope with God.
The third candle of Advent is the candle of Joy. The candle of Joy reminds us that God fills us with unspeakable joy. God wants us to give him all our cares and all our worries and lift up our hearts and hands with joy.
The fourth candle of Advent is the candle of Peace. The candle of Peace reminds us that God's kingdom is a kingdom of peace, and Jesus is the prince of peace. Jesus is coming again. The first time he came was to bring salvation, but when he comes again he will come to judge the nations and to establish his kingdom of peace and righteousness.
Advent is a wonderful church tradition that reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.
May God help us to celebrate the first coming of Jesus Christ remembering that he came in fulfillment of the ancient prophecies, and to fill our hearts with hope and joy, and to bring peace to the whole world as the angels told the shepherds that first Christmas morning:
"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, 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 heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."(Luke 2:10-14).
Pastor Steve, December 9, 2013
What's happenin' ?
Sunday School - 9:30a.m. to 10:30a.m.
Sunday morning worship service starts at 10:45a.m.
Annual Congregational Meeting
-- Sunday, December 15th
First Sunday of Advent
-- December 1st
Second Sunday of Advent
-- December 8th
Third Sunday of Advent
-- December 15th
Fourth Sunday of Advent
-- December 22nd
Christmas Eve Service
-- 7:00pm Tuesday, December 24th
For more information use our contact us form