The Advent Season

This Christmas season I have been focusing more intentionally on the actual meaning and traditions of advent. Having been brought up in the church it's something that I have been familiar with all my life, yet haven't really grasped until now.

Advent is when we wait anxiously for the coming of Christ. Both in remembrance of his birth and anticipation for his second coming. It combines longing, preparation, and expectation with holy hope and joy. Think of the advent wreath. The wreath itself represents God's endless mercy. The first candle which is lit on the first Sunday of Advent is the candle of Hope. Then the middle candles stand for love, joy, and peace. In the center is the Christ candle representing Christ as coming into the world. It's a lovely tradition with beautiful symbolism that has come to life for me.

Last week I wrote about Joshua. I had/have a Jericho in my life at the moment. God is making me examine my faith in Him. It's hard to trust, difficult to be obedient when you aren't sure of the outcome, humbling to see how weak I truly am. BUT (and this is what I love about my God) He has patiently walked be through the advent wreath as I marched around my Jericho this week. For right now, I can taste hope, feel love, express joy, and know peace because my God made the walls of my fear tumble! I know that I still have a long journey ahead. However, a great victory has been won so:

I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.

My soul will boast in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice

Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:1-4

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