By Rev. Patricia Johnson: Pastor, Luther United Methodist Church
What is Advent? Advent (from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”), is the beginning of the Church year in the Western tradition. This church liturgical time spans over the four Sunday prior to Christmas. It was not until the end of the sixth century that a prescribed period of time was set aside as preparation for Christmas.
This season for Christians is one of expectation, of hope. The four themes of focus include: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
Have you seen a large evergreen Advent wreath in most of the churches? Why is this used? The origins of the wreath are ancient and probably pagan, but there is a symbolism with the wreath and its five candles that is useful in retelling the Christmas story. The circle of greenery reminds us that God is eternal, the Alpha and Omega without beginning or end, and also of the hope we have in God, of newness, renewal and eternal life.
The candles symbolize the light of God entering the world through the birth of Jesus, and the four outer candles represent a period of waiting, perhaps the four centuries between the prophet Malachi (the last book in the Old Testament) and the birth of Jesus. While the light from the candles reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world that comes into the darkness, it also reminds us that we are called to be a light to the world as we reflect the light of God’s love and grace to others.
The center candle is white and is called the Christ Candle. It is traditionally lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Please join us for Advent and Christmas Eve services. All are welcome!
Luther United Methodist Church
211 SE Second
Sunday Morning Worship