Posted on November 30, 2013
Advent Dates for 2014
Advent Dates for 2014
• November 30 – First Sunday of Advent
• December 7 – Second Sunday of Advent
• December 14 – Third Sunday of Advent
• December 21 – Fourth Sunday of Advent
Advent is the season, of the four weeks before Christmas Day, when we prepare to welcome the celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ. During this season we think of the time when He will come again to earth, not as a baby this time, but as King of Kings forever.
In Great Britain Advent comes in the Wintertime. It is usually cold and sometimes icy and snowy. During Advent we put up our Christmas trees and decorations. We love to decorate our homes, gardens and shops etc with all kinds of decoations, lights and evergreens like holly and fir trees.
In churches it is traditional to have an Advent wreath with four candles around one white centre candle.
Advent wreaths use three colours – purple, pink, and white. However, some may use blue in place of the purple.
1st CANDLE – (purple) THE PROPHECY CANDLE or CANDLE OF HOPE – We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our hope comes from God. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:12-13)
2nd CANDLE – (purple) THE BETHLEHEM CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF PREPARATION – God kept his promise of a Saviour who would be born in Bethlehem. Preparation means to “get ready”. Help us to be ready to welcome YOU, O GOD!
3rd CANDLE – (pink) THE SHEPHERD CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF JOY – The angels sang a message of JOY!
4th CANDLE – (purple) THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF LOVE – The angels announced the good news of a Saviour. God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)
The 5th candle is lit on Christmas Day morning.
5th CANDLE – (white) “CHRIST CANDLE” – The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! His birth was for his death, his death was for our birth! “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!‘” (John 1:29)
EVERGREENS FOR ADVENT
When all the earth is brown, when the leaves have departed the trees; Evergreens stand in lonely vigil until the earth again is green.
Evergreen, everlasting, eternal, green branches are a part of our preparation, our waiting: a symbol of hope, a symbol of eternity, a reminder of love received. Evergreen is a symbol of the eternal promise of renewal, a symbol of the eternal and everlasting God.
Evergreens shout to us about the hoped for coming of green again. Evergreens stand ever ready to remind us of joyous hope. The joyous reality of the eternal presence of the Christ Child; the eternal presence in the entire world.
Legend tells us that long ago, the evergreens were not forever coloured with verdant leaves. Before the birth of the Eternal One, before the coming, the evergreen was bare like other trees around.
We begin this legend with the recorded event written in Scripture and recorded by Matthew.
Matthew Chapter 2 verses 13, 14 &15 The Escape to Egypt
The Gospel writer says,
An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. And the angel said to him: “Rise up and take the Infant Jesus and his mother and escape with them to Egypt. Stay in Egypt until I bid you return. You are no longer safe. Go, for Herod sends his soldiers to seek out the Child and destroy Him.” So Mary and Joseph and their Infant Child left the warmth and security of their land and journeyed into Egypt. And there they stayed until the death of Herod.
Hastily, they gathered their meagre belongings. Into the dark of night they stole away. Escape, they must, the jealous wrath of Herod and his men. Escape, they must, from the death decree handed down by Herod. No word could be said of their hasty departure; no notice of a planned destination. Friends and family could not know of their going, lest they too come under the decree of death. Over rocky hills and dusty roads, they travelled wearily; Mary and the Infant on the back of a donkey; Joseph, alert and watchful, walking beside them. With heavy saddened hearts and fearful weary bodies, they made their way all night long and into the following long day. Mid-afternoon, dust in the distance behind them came. Fast riding soldiers came, soldiers sent from Herod, sent to carry out Herod’s dreadful mission. Where could they hide? Where could the Holy Family find protection? The hillside was barren, offering no shield. Quickly, a frightened Joseph guided Mary and her child into a clump of cedars on a hill. Immediately, the bare cedar twigs greened with colour, thickened with growth to shield the Holy Family. The white berries of the cedar tree turned to sapphire blue to match the robe that Mary wore that day. So Mary, mother of Jesus in a robe of sapphire blue could blend with cedar trees, and go unnoticed by passing, hunting soldiers. Past the Holy family, went the band of Herod’s men; never seeing, never knowing Mary, Joseph, and Infant Jesus were safely sheltered in a clump of green cedars with berries of sapphire blue. Since that day, cedars and plants like them have never shed their leaves; never lost their green; for they sheltered the Holy Family. Forever green, to honour the day they received the Infant Christ Child.
THE ADVENT VIRUS
WARNING: ADVENT VIRUS (Anonymous via email)
Be on the alert for symptoms of inner Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.
Some signs and symptoms of The Advent Virus:
A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
A loss of interest in judging other people.
A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
A loss of interest in conflict.
A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)
Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
Frequent attacks of smiling
An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.
Please send this warning out to all your friends. This virus can and has affected many systems.
Some systems have been completely cleaned out because of it.