This past Sunday, our church began the yearly tradition of lighting the Advent candles. If you aren’t familiar with the lighting of these candles, it takes place on the four Sundays leading up to Christmas and concludes on Christmas Eve.
The word “advent” actually means coming or arrival. So, we light the Advent candles in celebration of Jesus’ first arrival on this earth and then the anticipation of His second-coming.
The first four candles that we light represent an aspect of who Jesus is and what He brought to each of us at that first arrival, some two thousand years ago. And the final candle represents Jesus Himself, the One who came to save the world.
The candle we lit on Sunday represents the hope that Christmas brings. Now this isn’t the kind of hope with which many of us are familiar: it isn’t the wishful kind of hope that we’ve come to know, like, “I hope I get an A on my test” or “I hope my family can visit for Christmas this year.”
This hope that Jesus brought at Christmas is so much more. The definition for the kind of hope that this candle represents is the assurance of what WILL come. You see, Jesus has made a way for us to have new life and someday He WILL return in all His glory and bring order to this fallen world, once and for all.
Luke 2:10-11 says: “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
The angel tells us here that a Savior was born—Jesus the Messiah had arrived. God in flesh is with us and in this we find hope. Christmas is a great reminder of the hope that we have in Him. The hope that He WILL soon return and take us all to be with Him. I pray that we can all experience His Hope this Christmas season!