December 2023

“Let your face shine upon us, and we shall be saved.” Psalm 80:7

Dear Redeemer Family:

It’s hard to believe, but we are already in December! And you know what that means? That’s right, Advent. I know some of you were thinking Christmas. Well sorry. The Season of Christmas only has 12 days in it. Remember the song. Meanwhile, Advent is four weeks long, more than twice as long as Christmas. The image of December, then quite rightly is not the Christmas tree but the Advent wreath. And that is indeed appropriate. Every step in Advent is preparing us for Christmas. And, if you know your traditions, often the Christmas tree wasn’t even put up until Christmas Eve. That’s December 24th, the month is almost over by then. Advent prepares us for Christmas as we come nearer and nearer. We sing all the more loudly, week after week, “O Come, O come, Emmanuel.” As Our Lord’s Advent approaches daily through the month.

The four candles of the Advent wreath prepare us, as we light a new one every week. And each of them represents a different theme as Christmas approaches.

The first candle is the Candle of Hope. It is also called the Prophecy Candle. It is lit to tell us that the birth of the Savior is near. That he will bring our salvation. And that he is to be God Among Us, Emmanuel. That means that we will indeed need time to prepare for his arrival. We receive a king.
The second candle is the Candle of Peace. It is also sometimes called the Bethlehem Candle. But with the Lord’s coming, he is to bring peace to the earth. Indeed, it is a peace which the world cannot give. And, as always, it is a peace which our world so desperately needs.

The third candle is different. All of the candles of Advent are purple (or they can be blue). But this candle is not. It is a rose-colored candle. This is the Candle of Joy. It is also sometimes called the Shepherd’s Candle. And with it, we prepare for the coming of the joy of Christ’s presences among us. That is also why “Joy to the World” is both an Advent and a Christmas hymn.

And the fourth candle is the Candle of Love. For with its lighting, we prepare to receive God’s love in the coming of His Son. It is also referred to as the Angel’s Candle for that is what the angels announce at Christmas. That fits well this year especially, as the Fourth Sunday of Advent also falls on Christmas Eve.
The candles of the Advent prepare us for the coming blessed event of Christmas. Watch as they are lit, and their message enlightens the world.

In Christ,
Pastor Rose

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