TEACHER: Ken Hicks
SCRIPTURES: Ephesian 2:1-10
BOTTOM LINE: What is Advent?
QUESTION: Are we awaiting the 2nd Coming of Jesus? And … is it creating any Urgency in our life in how we live and overflow the truth of Jesus into the lives of people around us?
It’s CHRISTmas time isn’t it? Have you started to go crazy yet? Maybe it’s been w/ lights or inside decorations? A Tree … lights … you name it?
The world throws so much confusion at us this time of year. Presents, TV Shows, Decorations, Christmas Trees, Black Shopping … which is crazy in and of itself, because why do we shop on those days we know are going to be insane?
The yearly struggle of Happy Holiday’svs. Merry CHRISTmas.
And have we ever stopped to really ask Why do we do most of this stuff? Why do we decorate? Why do we give Gifts? Why do we put a Tree in the middle of our living room and put stuff all over it?
In the Christian Church … we celebrate a season of Advent … but I wonder if we really know what Advent is?
Ephesians 2:1-10 …“1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
The tradition of ADVENT dates back to the Roman Catholic Church, before there was ever a Baptist or Methodist or Episcopal … or Non-Denominational Church … or any of that. After the Protestant Reformation, many people left the Roman Catholic Church and began the Protestant Church, but the tradition of ADVENT was carried on.
The WREATH & CANDLES are a great visual tool to help us remember what we have … and what we are hoping for!
The CIRCLE in the wreath represents God. It’s a circle to symbolize God’s eternity, and endless mercy. God has no beginning and no end.
It’s GREEN because Green is the Color of Hope. The Green reminds us of the HOPE we have in God … Newness … Renewal … and Life Eternal. Green means fresh-spring yards, green leaves on the trees and plants.
The 4 Outer Candles represent the period of waiting during the 4 Sunday’s of ADVENT. Waiting for the coming Messiah. They also symbolize the 4 centuries that passed between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Jesus.
The 5TH CANDLE is the Christ Candle. It’s often Bigger and Taller than the others … representing the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His Son.
The COLORS of the Candles have meaning as well:
- 3 Purple – representing Royalty
- 1 Pink or Red – representing Joy
- 1 White – representing the Purity of Christ … His Perfection & Divinity