The season of Advent has been celebrated by Christians for centuries as a time of excitement and anticipation for the birth of Christ. It is also a time when we celebrate and look toward the coming of the Kingdom of God. One of the traditions we use to do this is the lighting of Advent candles. The four candles of Advent (Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace) represent different values which characterise what the world could look like if Jesus reign was present in every area of life. Each week a new candle is lit to represent the way in which that value is now present through Christ’s life on earth, to recognize our part in enacting that value in the way in which we live, and to anticipate its coming and completion when the Kingdom of God is finally realized on earth.
Today, as we begin our Advent journey, we light the candle of Hope.
As we light it we celebrate the hope that began in the promise of a messiah, and that gained new meaning in the birth of Jesus, and his life on earth; a hope that is extended to each one of us as a gift.
As we light the candle of hope we recognize Jesus’ call to us as his disciples, to be bearers of that hope in our world as we seek to reflect and offer Christ through the way in which we live.
As we light the candle of hope we anticipate the time when the Kingdom of God will be experienced in all its fullness, and all creation will be redeemed and restored.
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