The Many Moods of Advent
This year GCI Memphis initiated something the wider Christian church has been doing for a long long time – the lighting of four advent candles as prelude to the popular celebration of Christmas.
The Latin “adventus” for “coming” gives away the meaning. The focus is on the church preparing for the coming of Christ – mainly his first coming in Bethelehem when the Word was made flesh, but incorporating his coming inside us now as well as the dramatic appearance at the end-time.
In the Middle Ages people had few possessions and most in Weetern Europe were illiterate but they had plenty of candles. The Church focused on various colored candles to illustrate deeper lessons in the Christian life. The focus at that time was the sober Scriptural call to “watch and pray” – fasting and prayer and self-examination were big themes across the four weeks.
In the 1990s, especially, with so much commercialism and distraction attaching to Christmas Day, churches began to reclaim the Advent season as a teaching tool, a time to meditate on the significance of Christ’s first coming in Bethlehem and what it meant to the restarting of the humn race with the appearance of the Second Adam.
What do the four colored candles represent for our congregation? Come along and see, every Sunday at 10:30 at Bartlett Seniors Center. You’ll be glad you did.