This past week we have been having many conversations in our home about Advent. It all started this past Sunday at our church. As soon as we picked Robbie up from Sunday school, he eagerly shared with us that they lit an Advent candle in class. It really got me thinking about Advent, it's meaning and it's significance in our home. The Season of Advent... just what does it mean? The dictionary refers to advent as being the arrival of a notable person, place or thing. Advent is the first season of the Christian church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.
The Advent season lasts for four Sundays leading up to Christmas. At that time, the new Christian year begins with the twelve-day celebration of Christmastide, which lasts from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6. (Advent begins on the Sunday that falls between November 27th and December 3rd each year.)
Advent symbolizes the present situation of the church in these “last days” (Acts 2:17, Hebrews 1:2), as God’s people wait for the return of Christ in glory to consummate his eternal kingdom. The church is in a similar situation to Israel at the end of the Old Testament: in exile, waiting and hoping in prayerful expectation for the coming of the Messiah. Israel looked back to God’s past gracious actions on their behalf in leading them out of Egypt in the Exodus, and on this basis they called for God once again to act for them. In the same way, the church, during Advent, looks back upon Christ’s coming in celebration while at the same time looking forward in eager anticipation to the coming of Christ’s kingdom when he returns for his people. In this light, the Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” perfectly represents the church’s cry during the Advent season: While Israel would have sung the song in expectation of Christ’s first coming, the church now sings the song in commemoration of that first coming and in expectation of the second coming in the future To balance the two elements of remembrance and anticipation, the first two Sundays in Advent (through December 16th) look forward to Christ’s second coming, and the last two Sundays (December 17th – 24th) look backward to remember Christ’s first coming. Over the course of the four weeks, Scripture readings move from passages about Christ’s return in judgment, to Old Testament passages about the expectation of the coming Messiah, to New Testament passages about the announcements of Christ’s arrival by John the Baptist and the Angels.
Rich and I had a conversation about making Advent candles part of our Christmas tradition. I am excited to embrace this tradition in our home each Sunday evening in December. I look forward to this time together as a family.
I simply cannot tell you how incredibly grateful I am feeling this year and this Christmas season. Last year at this time I was incredibly pregnant with twins...
I had no idea what to expect in the future with twins. I was on bed rest because I had begun to threaten pre-term labor. We have a good and gracious God and this year I am oh so very thankful to have these three little men as the greatest presents under my Christmas tree!
So the photo above comes with a story of course... and not just any story, a Jingle story!!
Jingle Day # 3
Robbie ran into our bedroom this morning at 5:00 am and I am almost positive it was still dark outside. The little sweetie was so excited to see what adventure or mischievous thing Jingle had gotten himself into this morning! We ran into our living room to find this...
Jingle found mommy's camera and took a photo of himself and had placed it in this adorable little picture frame.
So after reading the note and finding these adorable little Christmas jammies from a certain Auntie Elf, we took a few photos to place in our Jingle frame to always remember this day!
I encourage you friends to get out there and make some Christmas memories of your own! :)