One of our family traditions during December is reading Advent devotions together as a family. I enjoy Advent as it is a time to slow the holiday busyness and refocus our attention on the meaning of the holiday season. The four weeks of Advent, beginning the Sunday nearest Nov. though midnight Christmas Eve, represent the four great “comings” of Christ. The first is His coming in the flesh, His birth, which we celebrate on Christmas Day. The second is His coming into the hearts of all who believe in Him. The third is His coming at the hour of death to the faithful, and the fourth is His coming at the final judgment. I find myself enjoying this family tradition more each year as I reflect on the rich symbolism, the fulfilled prophecies, the names of the Messiah, and the focus on the Child. It doesn’t matter what you use as this year we purchased the following since our books are in storage.
- The Experience of Christmas by Lee Warren
- A Family Advent Keeping the Savior in the Season
- Ornaments of Christmas Joy by Mary Grace Birkhead
Great Devotion to do with kids 4+
- Jotham’s Journey by Arnold Ytreeide
- Bartholomew’s Passage by Arnold Ytreeide
Purple has traditionally been the primary color of Advent, symbolizing repentance and fasting. Purple (a purple candle is used 1-3 Sunday’s) is also the color of royalty, demonstrating the anticipation and reception of the coming King celebrated during Advent. Pink or rose is also one of the colors of Advent used during the third Sunday. It represents joy or rejoicing and reveals a shift in the season away from repentance and toward celebration. White is the color at the center, representing purity. Christ is the sinless, spotless, pure Savior. Also, those who receive Christ as Savior are washed of their sins and made whiter than snow.
Advent means “coming.” It’s a time to prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, while at the same time looking forward to His coming return.
- Advent’s 1st Sunday symbolizes HOPE and is known as the PROPHET candle.
- Advent’s 2nd Sunday symbolizes FAITH and is known as the BETHLEHEM candle.
- Advent’s 3rd Sunday symbolizes JOY and is known as the SHEPHERD’s candle.
- Advent’s 4th Sunday (pink candle) symbolizes PEACE and is known as the ANGEL candle.
All four candles are lit each night that week to symbolize the growing brightness of Jesus’ coming.
Christmas Eve/day we light a white CHRIST candle.
This season I hope you will draw closer to Jesus as He has so much love for you. He is your Provider and Protector. He can restore what seems broken and bring back new life. For unto us a child is born!