Let’s approach Christmas with an expectant hush, rather than a last-minute rush.” ~Anonymous
I was an abysmal failure at Advent this year.
In years past, when our kids were younger, celebrating Advent as a family was the way we stayed connected to the “Reason for the season” throughout the holidays. Around the dinner table each night we’d light the candles, read Scriptures, and sing Christmas songs. We made our own wreath. We read fun Christmas stories. The kids colored pictures and argued over who got to light and blow out the candles. It was fun (except for the arguing).
But with the kids getting older and starting households of their own, busy lives and schedules these days just don’t seem to lend themselves to the whole family being together every evening. Not to mention, one of the kids spent most of the Advent season an ocean away! This year, anyway, Advent just kind of fell by the wayside…
So, tonight we simply lit all four candles at once. (After all, it’s about the heart, right, not about the ritual?) And with any luck, we’ll be able to do the same each night this week, as every day our household swells with more family (and friends) coming home for Christmas.
Want to join us in a last-minute Advent? You just need five candles (each one represents a different aspect of the Christmas story), an evergreen wreath if you can find one (to us it symbolizes the eternal life we have in Christ), and a Bible to look up the verses.
Candle #1: The Prophecy Candle (Anticipation and Longing) – Isaiah 9:2-4, 6 – O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Candle #2: The Bethlehem Candle (Preparation) – Isaiah 40:3-5; Micah 5:2 – O Little Town of Bethlehem
Candle #3: The Angels’ Candle (Rejoicing) – Luke 2:13-14; 1 Peter 1:8 – Angels We Have Heard on High
Candle #4: The Shepherds’ Candle (The Good News) – Luke 2:8-20; Romans 10:13-15 – The First Noel
Candle #4: The Christ Candle (for Christmas Eve) – John 1:1-18 – Joy to the World
The word “Advent” literally means “coming.” How perfect! We celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ to this world. And we’re so excited about kids and new spouses and extended family and friends who are coming to our home this season, as well. A last-minute Advent will help us get our hearts ready. It will be fun. And hopefully no arguing. 🙂
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; for those who live in a land of deep darkness a light will shine. ~Isaiah 9:2