Today is the first Sunday of Advent, which marks the beginning of the Advent season.
I don’t know about you, but try as I might I often get so caught up in all the peripheral holiday things – baking cookies, buying gifts, writing out Christmas cards, etc. – that I’m distracted and not nearly as mindful as I should be of the “reason for the season.”
So this year, like I do during Lent with daily resolutions, I’m going to make an effort to do something every day that helps me better prepare for Jesus. I’m going to share some of my simple ideas for each day of Advent on this corner of Blogville over the next four weeks. Just keep in mind: These activities are meant to add meaning and joy to your holiday season – not stress.
I firmly believe that while Advent is a time for waiting and preparing, it’s also a time for celebrating Jesus now. Let’s not get so wrapped up in the holiday preparations or even in the waiting for his coming that we forget all the joy we have in our hearts at this very moment because of him and his selfless love for us all.
Jesus doesn’t need all the holiday hoopla to be invited into our lives. Christ is here if we only take the time to open our eyes and look….
Sunday, November 30th
Pull out your favorite Advent wreath or make one of your own.
Explain the symbolism behind the Advent wreath to your children:
- The evergreen symbolizes immortality.
- The wreath’s circular shape is a symbol of eternity and also reminds us that God’s love is never-ending. (Some wreaths are shaped like triangles to symbolize the Trinity.)
- The red holly berries in some Advent wreaths remind us of the drops of blood on the Savior’s head while the prickly holly leaves remind us of the crown of thorns.
- The four Advent candles symbolize the four weeks of Advent. The purple candles remind us that Advent is time of preparation – not just for the festivities and festooning of Christmas but for inviting Christ into our lives. We’re waiting in joyful anticipation for his birth and for him to come again. The pink candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent, which known as Gaudette Sunday or “Joyful Sunday.”
- When the candles are lit, they remind us of Christ – the Light of the World.
Light the first purple candle each night this week.