Living with Jesus: December

Living with Jesus: December

During this Christmas season, we encourage you to participate in a simple rhythm of Advent.

“The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“God of hope, I look to you with an open heart and yearning spirit. During this Advent season, I will keep alert and awake, listening for your word and keeping to your precepts. My hope is in you.” ~ Matthew Kelly

These two quotes help us understand the deeper meaning of Advent. Not only does the Advent season focus on the anticipation of Christ’s birth, historically, it pointed not to the first coming of Christ but to the second. We are in a time in history where Advent is both a time of remembrance and a time of anticipation. We remember the first coming of Christ as a baby in a manger and we anticipate the second coming of Christ as the King.

Typically, Advent is celebrated with an advent wreath of evergreens. The Advent wreath first appeared in Germany in 1839 and had 20 small red candles and 4 larger white candles to represent the 24 days in December leading up to Christmas Eve. The most common Advent candle tradition, however, involves four candles. A new candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each candle represents something different, although traditions vary. The four candles traditionally represent hope, faith, joy, and peace. Occasionally, a fifth white candle is placed in the middle and is lit on Christmas Day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

This year, consider the value of celebrating Advent as a way to remember the birth of Jesus and anticipate his coming again. Below are short passages to read and reflect on, one passage to read on the four Sundays of Advent, and the final one to be read on Christmas Eve. May this season, even with all of its challenges, help you focus on the anticipation of the coming of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Week One: Hope
Read Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
Listen to the song, Silent Night.

Week Two: Preparation
Isaiah 40:3-5
Listen to the song, O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

Week Three: Joy
Matthew 2:10-11
Listen to the song, Joy to the World.

Week Four: Love
John 3:16-19
Listen to the song, O Little Town of Bethlehem.

Christmas Eve: Adoration
John 1:14
Listen to the song, O Come All Ye Faithful.

If you desire, download a free daily Advent devotional.

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