I love the Advent season. I have so many memories of going to find evergreen branches with my dad, and watching him (sometimes helping him) build an Advent wreath. I remember sitting around the wreath with my family singing Christmas carols, both in English and German, and reading different Bible verses/ stories to prepare for Christmas. This is one of the things that I miss the most, being away from home at this time of year.
So I thought that I’d research the history behind Advent and see how it all started.
Advent: Actually comes from a Latin word that means “coming”. Many scholars think that Advent actually started as a time for new believers to prepare for baptism in January during the feast of Epiphany, not at all linked to Christmas time. They would start this time of prayer and fasting in mid- November. Later on, this became a time of expectation of Christ’s second coming, which is where songs like “O come O come Emmanuel” and “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” came from.
It is now a time of celebration of Christmas, looking forward to the celebration of Christ’s birth. Often, there is an Advent wreath with four or five candles around it. The four candles are lit on the four Sundays leading up to Christmas day, and often symbolize hope, peace, love and joy. The fifth is lit on Christmas Eve, celebrating Christ’s birth night.
Disclaimer: I found this information on a combination of different websites, after a fairly quick Google search. I am not by any means an expert on the history, symbolism, or meaning of everything to do with Advent.
What does Advent look like for you?
For me, this year, Advent is different, but still very important to me. My aunt compiled a bunch of verses and prophesies in the Bible leading up to Christ’s birth. My grandparents and I have been reading one or two each day, starting yesterday. It’s such a small bit of my day, but it makes me focus on truth and slow down for a bit.
Challenge: If you don’t normally celebrate Advent, I would challenge you to look into some of the verses that have been compiled for this time of the year. It’s so special to read the prophecies leading up to Christ’s birth in expectation of Christmas.
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