Watch Live

Advent is a season of waiting, expecting, and hoping. The word “advent” comes from the Latin word “adventus,” which means “coming”.  For Christians, celebrating Advent helps to prepare our hearts for the celebration of the “coming” of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. The Advent Season begins the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which starts this year on December 3.

While the focus of Advent is upon the birth of Jesus Christ and the reality of His first coming, the actions and events used in celebrating our Lord’s birth also remind us and assure us of His promise to return. However, His second coming will not be as a baby boy with no place to lay His head, but as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, having been crowned by God the Father with all glory, honor, and praise. Every true believer lives each day in the glorious expectation of that second “advent” of our Lord.

Advent is also a spiritual journey for every believer. This year, we will walk, almost verse by verse, through the first two chapters of the Gospel of Matthew under the heading: Behold the King! These daily readings will also coordinate with the Sunday sermons for the next four weeks so that the Holy Spirit can saturate our minds with the truth of God’s Word.

The Advent wreath is a wonderful tool to help parents tell the real Christmas story to their children. The wreath is an evergreen circle with five candles, four around the wreath and one in the center. (Some use battery-operated colored lights.)

The circle of the wreath reminds us of God’s eternity – He has no beginning or end. The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, the hope of everlasting life.

Candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His Son. The four outer candles represent the waiting period during the four Sundays of Advent, which symbolize the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.

  • The Prophecy Candle – (purple) the candle of hope – Romans 15:12-13
  • The Bethlehem Candle – (purple) the candle of peace – Luke 3:4-6
  • The Shepherd Candle – (pink) the candle of Joy – Luke 2:7-15
  • The Angel Candle – (purple) the candle of love –John 3:16-17
  • The fifth candle is the Christ Candle – (white) –John 1:29

As the candles are lit over the four weeks, they symbolize the demonic darkness of fear, the utter hopelessness of this world, and the guilt and remorse for our sins receding to the degree that the Light of the Word can shine through us. The flame of each new candle reminds us that something is happening; God is at work, and more is yet to come.

As we see our world drowning in chaos and confusion, and with wickedness and evil unashamedly manifested before us, let us begin this advent season with a sense of repentance and contrition for the unconfessed sins in our own heart and then for God’s people around the world, that believers would renew their love for the Lord Jesus, and unbelievers would see their need of a Savior; the One whose birth even they will celebrate, albeit in selfishness.

This is an Advent symbol of Jesus from Rev 1:8 and 22:13: “’I am the Alpha and the Omega [the first and the last, the beginning and the end],’ says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (see also Isaiah 44:6)
The blue letter is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Aleph, and the purple is the last letter of the Greek alphabet, Omega.  Not only does this symbolize the One who has come and will come again, it also emphasizes the continuity of God’s work in history throughout both the Old and New Testaments.

The Advent wreath can be as simple or as ornate as you want it to be. Remember, it is only a TOOL to use to tell the story – event by event.

Basically, all that is needed is a wreath of greenery, pine, cedar, holly, magnolia leaves, etc., or some use a vine that can be formed into a circle. Take five simple candle holders – four on the outside of the circle, and one on the inside. Insert four purple candles, one pink candle on the outside, and one white candle on the inside of the circle.

Here are some other ideas.

Advent wreath kits are available at all major craft stores, but I would encourage each family to BUILD their own with what they have around their home, or from a trip to the woods. For smaller kids, Styrofoam and battery operated lights can be used.