One of the Advent Traditions that reminds us to step out in faith to prepare the way for the Lord is the Advent Wreath, which has three purple candles, one pink candle and a white candle, placed within the circle of an evergreen.
The first candle (which was lit this past Sunday) symbolizes hope and is called the Prophecy Candle, reminding us that the prophets of the Old Testament waited in hope for the Messiah's arrival.
The second candle (which we will light this Sunday) called the "Bethlehem's Candle" reminds us of our need to prepare our hearts and step out in faith to prepare the way for the Lord in our everyday world like John the Forerunner!
The third candle symbolizes joy and is called the "Shepherd's Candle." The angel, filled with great joy, announced to the Shepherd's that Jesus had come as a Savior for "all the people."
The fourth candle represents peace and is called the "Angel's Candle." The angels announced that Jesus came to bring peace--He came to bring people close to God and to each other again.
The fifth candle is a white candle representing light and purity and is called "Christ's candle." It is placed in the middle of the Advent wreath surrounded by the four other candles and is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
The Advent Wreath is often used in conjunction with an Advent Calendar and/or Advent Devotionals. In case you haven't yet picked up your Advent resources at CTR please plan to do so this Sunday!
May God's most abundant blessings be upon you as we prepare the way for the Lord throughout this Advent season... Come, Lord Jesus!
Your servant in Christ,
The Rev. Dean F. Schultz - Christ the Redeemer Church in Springfield, VA