Advent

This is the first Sunday in Advent for the western church (including the Protestant denominations)

November 27 – First Sunday of Advent
• December 4 – Second Sunday of Advent
• December 11 – Third Sunday of Advent
• December 18 – Fourth Sunday of Advent.

In Eastern Orthodox churches which use the Julian calendar, Advent begins earlier, on November 15, and lasts 40 days, rather than 4 weeks

We are awaiting the arrival of the Messiah. As were the prophetess Anna and Simeon and all of Israel.  They had the advantage of the Holy Spirit  letting them know that some prophecies had been fulfilled. We have both the Holy Spirit and the confirmation of history and the Bible that tells their story.  In this celebration is also the anticipation of His return.  Jesus first came to earth as an infant, as beautiful as the story is we cannot leave Jesus in the cradle, He lived an absolutely amazing life and died on the cross to atone for our sins and rose from the grave on the third day, was seen alive for forty days including 500 brethren at once and ascended into heaven, where He sits at the right hand of God the Father.  He was born for the sole purpose of dying for our sins, past, present and future sins, so that we can once again be in fellowship and stand righteous before God. It is His blood that blots our sins from God’s eyes.   That is the greatest gift of all. We think we spend a lot on Christmas, just think what Christmas cost Jesus. It cost Him His life in heaven, His life on earth, even costs Him His fellowship ,for a moment, with God. It costs Him His friends as they abandoned Him and ran and hid for fear of their own lives.  What else it may have cost Jesus we do not know.  Lets just say, that the price Jesus paid for Christmas was the cross.  The Nativity accounts are filled with supernatural signs to announce a supernatural event.   Angels, stars, wise men, a virgin birth, a woman bearing a child when both her and her husband were well beyond child bearing age.  The season is one of hope, and anticipation, and of preparation. We focus on preparing meals, planning get togethers and trimming the tree and of course the endless shopping. In our prepartions lets not forget to prepare for His return and that is something we hope for  with great anticipation.  Stay in the word of God during this season, pray daily, alone and with family and church family. Please, do not go into debt for Christmas, the greatest Christmas gift you could give your family is to stay financially stable so you can meet their needs in the coming months.  What are some ways to celebrate advent?

Advent is one of the few Christian festivals that can be observed in the home as well as at church.  In its association with Christmas, Advent is a natural time to involve children in activities at home that directly connect with worship at church.  In the home an Advent wreath is often placed on the dining table and the candles lighted at meals, with Scripture readings preceding the lighting of the candles, especially on Sunday. A new candle is lighted each Sunday during the four weeks, and then the same candles are lighted each meal during the week. In this context, it provides the opportunity for family devotion and prayer together, and helps teach the Faith to children, especially if they are involved in reading the daily Scriptures.

An Advent Calendar is a way to keep children involved in the entire season.  There are a wide variety of Advent calendars, but usually they are simply a card or poster with windows that can be opened, one each day of Advent, to reveal some symbol or picture associated with the Old Testament story leading up to the birth of Jesus.

Such as Isaiah 2:1-5,7:10-14, Jeremiah 33:14-16, Zephaniah 3:14-18, Micah 5:2-5a, Matthew 24:37-44, Romans 13:11-14

This is the time when the tree usually goes up in the home. I prefer handmade ornaments to those that are store bought, though there is nothing wrong with buying the ornaments from the store.  My favorite is a nail with a red ribbon around it to remind me why Jesus was born and not to leave Him in the cradle.

Keep Christ the center of your celebration, in other words Keep Christ in CHRIST MASS!! It is the celebration of the anointed one – THE MESSIAH!!

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