Though not a Biblical tradition, this service is a beautiful observance of preparing our hearts for the remembrance of God's great gift to mankind all those long Christmases ago.
Mr. Webster tells us Advent is the anticipation of the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event. We are waiting for the day of celebration. For four Sunday's leading up to Christmas day, we are patiently waiting for the day when we finally have the BIG PARTY to commemorate His birth.
FINALLY, after all the fanfare, all the carols, all the pot luck suppers, all the anticipation, we light the final candle on the Advent Wreath--the Christ Candle and the day we have anticipated and hoped for has finally come. Our inpatient~patient waiting has been rewarded with the beauty of what many consider the best day of the year.
Advent is all about the birth of a baby. As I thought this over, in the deep dark of the early morning hours today, I remembered the great anticipation I felt when my own three children were born. I remembered the waiting for the birth of each baby. I remembered the growing discomfort of the final days of pregnancy and becoming inpatient for an end to nine long months of waiting. I remembered, after long hours of labor, those final great pushes to bring a new baby in the world. I remembered how my life was forever altered with each and every birth. I remembered holding that sweet~precious baby for the first time. I remembered the beginning of a deep abiding love for a child which has never faltered and instead grown deeper with each decade. I remembered three of the greatest blessings God has even given me after long months of waiting. I remembered how my life was forever changed and altered with the birth of a baby.
As we continue our trek through this Advent season, my prayer is we all will remember how our lives were forever altered ~ forever changed with the birth of that Baby all those years ago. With His birth, hope was rained down upon us and the world was given the King of All Kings. Christ was born that day after centuries of anticipation and now we celebrate God's Gift to man each and every Christmas.
May your Advent be filled with the wonder of waiting--knowing the day is coming, your prayers are answered, and Christ did live among us. May you remember as we wait to celebrate His birth, this began a new day for mankind when He was born those long years ago. May you remember and be thankful for the journey to the cross that was begun all those years ago with His birth. May you experience glorious and wonder filled days of remembrance this Advent Season.