Pastor’s Message – December 2019
On Sunday, December first, we will begin the church season known as “Advent.” The English word “advent” comes from the Latin root word that is translated as “coming.” Advent is the start of the church calendar. The liturgical color is purple, the color of royalty. Purple is also a color used to signify penitence.
The primary focus of Advent is on the coming of a king, the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus (Rev. 19:14-16). Keep in mind that there are two comings. The first happened in Bethlehem, and the second coming of Christ has not yet happened. It is appropriate to preach on either or both comings of the Christ during the season of Advent.
It has been customary for churches to light a special candle around the Advent wreath over a period of four Sundays. The first Sunday of Advent is the Prophecy Candle or Candle of Hope. Our hope is the fact that God is true to His word, and God always keeps promises.
The second candle is the Bethlehem Candle or the Candle of Preparation. Bethlehem was not a very large town of any great significance. Yet, it was chosen to be the place of the birth of the Son of God on earth. Preparation is essential for meeting the living God. So, getting ready for Christmas is more than buying gifts and decorating. The soul and spirit need to be properly prepared for the arrival of the Lord.
The third candle is the Shepherd’s Candle or the Joy Candle. Upon encountering the newborn king, the shepherds experienced great joy. The angels sang about the great joy the Christ child would bring to the earth.
The fourth and final candle is the Angel Candle or the Candle of Love. The angels announced a message of love to the world. The great motive of God was love. Out of love, God sent his precious Son into the World to die for the sins of the world. Love motivated God to act in history.
The Christ Candle is not the circle of the wreath. It stands in the center of the wreath, and it is larger and thicker that the other four candles. The Christ candle is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day signifying the arrival of God incarnate, God in the flesh.
Jesus is coming! Are you ready?
Pastor Ken Chorle