The word advent means, a coming or arrival, especially of something or someone extremely important.
In biblical terms, Advent is a season. It refers to the four weeks leading up to Christmas day, the day that we celebrate the arrival of our Lord when He came to dwell among men.
Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
In many churches, the four Sundays of Advent are celebrated by the lighting candles, illustrating the Light that came into our world on that first Christmas day. The four weeks of Advent are intended to be a time to reflect on God’s ancient promises and prophecies and remember those that have already been fulfilled. Advent is to be a time of preparing one’s heart in anticipation of Christmas.
Let’s begin this Advent season by reflecting on an ancient greeting from Fra Giovanni, a 16th-century Italian architect:
I salute You. There is nothing I can give you which you have not;
But there is much that, while I cannot give you, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
Take heaven …
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in the present.
Take peace …
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet within our reach is joy.
Take joy …
And so at this Christmastime, I greet you with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away. (1)
Take from Jesus
We don’t often think in terms of “taking” but we do think about Jesus giving. Taking is nothing more than accepting and receiving that which Jesus came to give. Let us slow down and “take” as Fra Giovanni exhorted. Take Heaven. Take peace. Take Joy. And, we would add, TAKE TIME. In our day, the world seems to be moving at warp speed. Take time to reflect on God’s love, joy, peace, and grace, given to us that first Christmas.
Reflect on Love:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Reflect on joy:
John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Reflect on peace:
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you
Reflect on grace:
John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Reflect, Remember, and Find Rest
Remember Jesus’ words of hope and promise when He proclaimed that He had come to preach the gospel, heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance, restore sight, and give freedom (Luke 4:17-21). Jesus came to give us rest:
Mat 11:28-29 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Find rest for your soul in knowing that Jesus is Faithful and True (Rev 19:11). He gives you love, joy, and peace. TAKE (partake, receive) and FIND REST!
Light the First Advent Candle
The first Advent candle is the candle of Hope. God’s prophecies give us hope. Take a minute and watch as God’s purpose and plan is unfolded through His prophecies. Advent Candle 1-HOPE: Prophecy Reveals Hope
(1) Christian Century Pulpit, December, 1957, “Greeting at Christmas,” by Fra Giovanni, AD 1513, p. 22.
The Season of Advent (the 4 weeks before Christmas)
Will You Find Rest This Advent Season?
HOPE: Advent Candle 1 – Prophecy Gives Hope (video)
LOVE: Advent Candle 2 – Promise Reveals Love (video)
JOY: Advent Candle 3 – Jesus Is Our Joy (video)
PEACE: Advent Candle 4 – Pause to Find Peace (video)
Christmas Day: When Love Was Born — Light the CHRIST Candle
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- Remember the Wonder of Christmas
- Will you find rest, peace and joy this advent season?
- A Christmas Morning Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
- What If You Had Been There When Jesus Was Born? (video)
- Pause to Find Hope (video)' To Receive the Promises of God (video); To See Jesus (video); To Hear God’s Plan (video)
- Christmas Trivia Fun
- Songs of Christmas Series: Away in a Manger; Mary, Did You Know? Rose of Bethlehem; Good Christian Men Rejoice; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; I Wonder As I Wander; What Child Is This? The First Noel In the Bleak Midwinter (a golden oldie)
Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists
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