“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”– Galatians 4:4-5
The Advent wreath is one of those signs of the season that I love. Each week the anticipation builds as we light one candle each week until Christmas Eve when we light that big, middle candle, the Christ candle, in celebration of Christ’s first Advent, his first coming to us at Christmas. The Advent wreath serves as a kind of object lesson of Paul’s words from Galatians 4 above. As each candle is lit, we can imagine time growing increasingly full until our Savior and Redeemer is born.
The Advent wreath also serves as a reminder to us that we ought to slow down during this busy time of year, and, like Mary, ponder in our hearts what it means that God has come to dwell among us. Consider that for a second. God, in his love, sent Jesus to be born like one of us, to live like one of us, to suffer like one of us, and to die like one of us…and yet, to do it all without sin (Hebrews 4:15). But most amazing of all, Jesus rose from the dead so that, like him, we might live for all eternity.
During this beautiful season, Hope is providing two opportunities for you to slow down, reflect, and meditate on the Advent of our King. First, on Wednesday evenings starting December 1st, you are invited to join us for a soup supper at 6pm and worship at 7pm. This year we will be following a new order of worship called “Holden Evening Prayer” in addition to walking through a sermon series called, “When Heaven Met Earth: Advent Answers to Tough Questions.”
Then, on Sunday mornings beginning December 5th, we will be diving in to a sermon, Bible Study, and devotional series called “Symbols of Salvation: Foretelling Christ’s Birth.” Through this series, we will focus on three Old Testament narratives that serve as symbols of Jesus’ coming to share in our humanity: the burning bush, the cloud in the tabernacle, and the call of Gideon. We will cap things of on Christmas Eve at 5pm and 7pm as we focus on how the narrative of Jesus’ birth is real, not a fairy tale, and how all Scripture finds it’s fulfillment in him.
This time of year can be busy and overwhelming and in the midst of the busyness, the peaceful anticipation of Advent can get buried. So take some time this year to join us in worship, on Wednesdays, Sundays, or both, as we, together, light those Advent candles and joyful anticipation of the birth of our Savior!
Your Brother in Christ,