We have decided to give ‘Gramps’ the month of December as a time for recharging and getting ahead, since we will be returning to Voice of the Martyrs soon. Soo, these will be from Gma. When we do things together I am the ‘facts person’, ie play by play, and Gramps the’ color commentator’ – I don’t do stories very well but I so enjoy books and stories. Jesus used stories to inscribe His truths on our hearts.
Those of you who know us personally know that you will find “Christmas’ all year long at our house; there are nativity sets upstairs and downstairs we have over 400 square feet of lighted platforms - mostly ceramic and wooden things we have made. For years this was our Christmas card to our community, now it is up year round. You are welcome to call and come and see, if you are in the area.
We plan to share Christmas thoughts in these next few weeks. During all the years at the Village I endeavored to share with each one the real meaning of Christmas – in Scripture, songs/carols, drama, and stories. (I have book shelves and file drawers of materials.) One year I made Advent Calendars for each of our Homes and a Devotional Booklet to be used daily, as they moved the star across the dates. (If you are interested you can purchase Advent calendars in many stores.) I plan to share some of these with you as they relate to the weekly themes. But, keeping these short will be a task.
Sooo, to keep us on the same page, we will begin with the word ‘Advent’, and I hope you will do some research on your own. ‘Advent’ is a Latin derivative meaning ‘coming’ or ‘coming in’. Through the Old Testament and still today Jews look for their promised Messiah, as recorded by the prophets. As Christians, we use this time to refocus our hearts on Jesus and His birth that brought the Kingdom of Heaven to us. .
Many Churches designate the four weeks before Christmas as ‘Advent Season’. Churches and families have wreaths of greens with candles and light one each of the four Sunday’s. Often a theme is chosen for the week. Themes vary, candle colors vary, (usually 4, but I use a 5th a white candle in the middle representing Christ and light it on Christmas Day) but the symbolism is quite standard:
Wreath /circle - represents God and His love, without beginning or end.
Evergreens - represent on-going growth and learning, new life
Candles - represent light, and various other things in Scripture. JESUS is the Light of the world.
Purple is for Royalty – Baby Jesus is coming King.
Red -represents the blood Jesus would shed for your sin penalty and mine.
White is for purity – Jesus, Son of God without sin came to take away the sins of the world.
“He left His place to come to my place to die in my place to take me to His place!”
For our purposes here we will designate a theme for each week and select devotionals for each one.
Week I –Anticipation to the coming of Messiah; Cleansing was important when coming into the Tabernacle or Temple, thus forgiveness for selves and others is important.
Week II –Caring for others with symbols of peace, joy and love.
Week III – We will look at the lights.
Week IV –Gifts to Jesus and conclude with God’s greatest gift to us, His Son.
JESUS, the light of the world Has come with love and hope and glory…
He came to show us how much God cares, And that’s the Christmas Story. --Roy Lessin
Soooo, family and friends , young and not so young… be blessed this Advent Season as you anticipate celebrating the earthly birth of Jesus. It is a good time to reflect on your relationship with others and
JESUS as Savior. Is your heart clean??
JESUS as Lord. Are you in His word? Do you know Him and follow his teaching?
JESUS as King. Does he rule and reign in your words and actions? Are you a bond-servant of the King? Is your life a place of welcoming for the Holy Spirit of God??