Advent Reflection Explanation
Throughout Christian history many have celebrated Advent, the Christmas season, by lighting candles on an advent wreath. There are many different traditions, but these traditions are just that – traditions. There is no right way or wrong way to celebrate Advent.
Advent means “coming.” In Christmas, we are celebrating the first coming of Christ with a longing for His second coming.
The following is one way that you or your family could celebrate Advent. On Sunday Terry is going to be preaching from the four Gospels. Each advent reflection is a reflection of some element of the Gospel and object lesson with the lighting of a candle.
Each week there will be a reading, prayer, and lighting of a candle. The readings will be from the first four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. After the reading, someone will light the candle. After lighting the candle, there will be a written prayer followed by a short time of open prayer. Once the time of open prayer is finished, the leader should close with a short impromptu prayer.
You could do these reflections as a family or invite others. You could invite people in your neighborhood or small group. These reflections would also be a way to invite other friends who do not go to church to spend time with you this Christmas. Typically you would meet on a Sunday evening, but any night will do.
Sample Agenda for the evening
7:00 – 7:20 (Snacks, cider, fellowship) We will cover the snacks the first week and then ask others to bring snacks the following weeks. We might cover drinks each week.
7:20 – 7:35 Light the advent candle and do the reading.
Prep and Supplies
- Decide who to invite.
- Invite those people
- Plan for refreshments (optional)
- Get advent candles. You can get a wreath or just have four candles on a table or mantle, whatever. Some advent wreaths use four candles, some five. We are going to use four for these reflections, but we might add a fifth – unlit – candle, just for our family. The fifth unlit candle would be a reminder of people who do not have the Holy Spirit in their life. It will be a reminder to us to take the light of the world to others.