For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Luke 19:10 (ESV)
Series Focus: “The Hope of Christmas”
With anticipation and excitement, the final countdown to Christmas morning has begun! We’ve spent the past four weeks preparing for the coming of our Lord Jesus during this season called Advent. In this precious season leading up to the birth of Christ, many Christians hold dear the tradition of putting an advent wreath in their home. Depending on your faith background, you may have four or five candles in the wreath. Symbolizing preparation and repentance, hope, love, joy, and purity, the three purple, one pink, and one white candles await their turn to be lit.
The first candle lit is purple and is referred to as the prophecy candle, or candle of hope. The second lit is also purple and may be called the Bethlehem, or preparation candle. The third to be illuminated is the pink candle. Representing joy or rejoicing, the lighting of this candle brings a shift in the season of Advent from repentance toward celebration! The fourth candle, called the angel candle, or candle of love, is purple. While purple represents royalty and the sovereignty of God, the last candle to be lit is the white candle. White represents purity, light, godliness, and victory. Jesus is our sinless, pure, and loving Savior. He is the light of the world and dispels the darkness. We rejoice He is Emmanuel, God with us!
We have discovered the focal prayer of Advent is: “Come, Lord!” We prepare to celebrate the first coming of the Messiah at Christmas. We also look forward to His second coming. We invite Him to come into our lives through His Spirit, bringing forgiveness, healing, grace, and mercy. The popular Christmas hymn, “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” is also a song about coming. But the invitation is not for the Lord, as in Advent, but for God’s faithful people.
When Christ was born, the angels rejoiced in song in the presence of the shepherds in the field. Compelled by this grand display, the shepherds went quickly to see for themselves what had been proclaimed.
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
As we sing the first verse, chorus, and second verse of this joyous song, I can feel the exhilaration building! (I know you’re going to sing it)
O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant! O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; Come and behold Him Born the King of Angels: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation, Sing, all ye citizens of Heaven above!
Just as the shepherds came to adore Him so long ago in the manger, we too can come and behold Him. We worship Him in awe and adoration because He is the King of Kings who became flesh, that we would know His power. We are welcomed into His presence, and He is ready to come again and complete His work of establishing God’s kingdom.
If you have received Jesus into your life, please don’t keep it a secret. Come, adore Him! Sing in exultation! Share His love, that others would know Him and stand beside you joyful and triumphant!
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Luke 2:8-17; Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 53