Advent In Plain English

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Advent Season is here! I love advent. It gives you a chance to center your prayer and do things with intention.

There are three meanings of ‘coming’ that Christians describe in Advent. The first, and most thought of, happened about 2000 years ago when Jesus came into the world as a baby to live as a man and die for us. The second can happen now as Jesus wants to come into our lives now. And the third will happen in the future when Jesus comes back to the world as King and Judge, not a baby.

The physical  time period consists of the 24 days before Christmas.  It  can be marked by two items. They are advent calendars and advent candles.

There are two types of candle(s) that are used to count down to Christmas Day in Advent. The first looks like a normal candle, but has the days up to Christmas Day marked down the candle. On the first of December the candle is lit and burnt down to the first line on the candle. The same is done every day and then the rest of the candle is burnt on Christmas day.

One candle is lit on the first Sunday of Advent, two are lit on the second Sunday and so on. Each candle has a different meaning in Christianity. Different churches have given them different meanings, but I was taught the following:

  • The first represents Isaiah and other prophets in the Bible that predicted the coming of Jesus.
  • The second represents the Bible.
  • The third represents Mary, the mother of Jesus.
  • The fourth represents John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, who told the people in Israel to get ready for Jesus’ teaching.

The middle or separate candle is lit on Christmas Day and represents Jesus, the light of the world.

There are many types of calendars used in different countries. The most common ones in the UK and USA are made of paper or card with 24 or 25 little windows on. A window is opened on every day in December and a Christmas picture is displayed underneath.

There are also now all different types of Advent Calendars used to sell and promote different products including chocolate, perfumes, alcohol and beauty products. You can even get advent calendars for your pets with dog or cat treats in them! The world’s largest advent calendar was made in 2007 at the St Pancras Train Station in London, England. It was 71m tall and 23m wide and celebrated the refurbishment of the station. The most expensive advent calendar ever was made in 2010 by a jewellers in Belgium. It was made of 24 glass tubes each containing some diamonds and silver! It was worth about $3.3 million.

In any event I wish you  fruitful advent


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