The Symbol of the Season
December 22, 2017 – Third Friday of Advent
18 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.” ~ Proverbs 4:18 (NRSVACE)
The Christian faith regardless of denomination is heavily influenced by a great many symbols. Though some of these symbols may not be directly related to the season they nevertheless ring of more modern origins helping to bring all of us closer to our singular Lord and Saviour. Such is the case for the Advent Wreath, for its humble beginnings is credited to ‘a German theologian and educator by the name of Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808-1881)’ who introduced, ‘the idea of lighting an increasing number of candles as Christmas approached.’ ~ Das Rauhe Haus, “History, From 1832-1881.” This idea served as a marker for the coming of the Lord and in combination with the Christmas tree, lighting candles, and the overwhelming jolly atmosphere of the season this symbol of Advent survives to modern day.
Now with the history of the Wreath and Candles out of the way let’s focus on the more spiritual idea behind it. As stated above in Proverbs 4:18 Advent is the season of preparation, of hope, and joy in glee anticipation of the coming of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Jesus professed to be the light, the way, the path to both righteousness and to the Kingdom of Heaven. When lighting the Advent Candle it becomes the most powerful of symbols of what Jesus professed to be and what He professed to have given to use. The candles colors’ too tell a deep rich story of faith and of forgiveness. Each week for six days the same candle is lite, the first one representing hope and the promises of a coming Savior. The second candle is lite with the first one on the Second Sunday of Advent and represents peace and the prophecies of a coming Savior. The season of Advent then builds in intensity with the lighting of the third candle with the first two on the Third Sunday of Advent. The third candle celebrates with joy that your hope in Christ is certain, hence last weeks post: “Gaudete!” Rejoice for the Lord is Near! This third candle, however, is pink; more about that in a minute. As for the first two purple candles, they are believed to represent both royalty and repentance. Each week’s scripture paints the picture of how God planned to save humanity through His only son. Scripture records many prophecies that Jesus within His coming fulfilled. Now the third week brings with it the third candle, pink in color for it, ‘is likened to a faded purple color as though the light is beginning to shine through it. It is “like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.’ ~ Tenny-Brittian, Bill. “Why Is There One Pink Advent Candle?” This belief supports Proverbs 4:18 most spectacularly!
The Order of Lighting
Week 1: Purple Candle – The Prophecy Candle or the Candle of Hope. Scripture associated with it is Luke 1:14. First Sunday of Advent Post
Week 2: Purple Candle – The Bethlehem Candle or the Candle of Preparation. Scripture associated with it is Luke 1:26-27 and Isaiah 40:3. Second Sunday Post
Week 3: Pink Candle – The Sheperd Candle or the Candle of Joy. Scripture associated with it is Romans 13:11-1. Third Sunday Post
Week 4: Purple Candle – The Angel Candle or the Candle of Love. Scripture associated with it is Romans 16:25-27. Fourth Sunday Post – Coming this Sunday!
Christmas Day: White Candle – Christ’s Candle – The Lord is Here! It is time to celebrate the birth of Christ, the “light of the world”! Scripture associated with it is Luke 2:15-20 Christ Is Here! Post – Coming this Monday!
5 “I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides me, there is no god. I arm you, though you do not know me, 6 so that they may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is no one besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. 7 I form light and create darkness, I make weal and create woe; I the Lord do all these things. 8 Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the skies rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation may spring up, and let it cause righteousness to sprout up also; I the Lord have created it.” ~ Isaiah 45:5-8
Ant. “The moment that your greeting reached my ears, the child within my womb leapt for joy.”
Primary Goal: To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.
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