Daily Archive for November 30th, 2014

Advent – 1st Sunday

30th November – Advent 1

Getting Ready for Jesus

xxx
ISAIAH THE PROPHET

The wonderful Christmas story, which is so familiar with us all, was in reality many centuries in the making. God made use of his prophets to foretell how He intended to bring his beloved son into the world. Isaiah was one of these ancient prophets.  Prophet Isaiah lived many many years before the birth of Jesus. In fact he lived about 800 years before Jesus. However, his connection to the story of Jesus is very strong at this time of the Advent and the Christmas seasons.  His name means God is the one who saves. He is the prophet who wrote a lot of stories about hope and new beginnings.  He wrote about the fortcoming birth of a new king who will become the prince of peace and a wonderful councillor.  He was foretelling the birth of Jesus Christ. When Jesus was born in Betlehem, the story that prophet Isaiah had written so many years before became true.

The Lord himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Emmanuel.

Advent

Advent is the time when we prepare to welcome Jesus Christ.

1. Jesus who came as a baby in a manger.

2. Jesus who comes into our lives each day.

3. Jesus who will come again at the end of time.

Advent is the time when we can get confused as it is meant to be a time of sacrifice but everyone is already enjoying the festive spirit. The church calls people to focus on getting ready to receive Christ, preparing our hearts and lives to make room for Jesus, to live as he would like us to live. It is a time of longing, not fulfillment. Quiet reflection, not celebration. The world, however, is already in a time of festivity, unable or unwilling, to wait and contemplate and prepare for the real festival. It is not easy to observe Advent without being pulled prematurely into Christmas.

A popular tradition that has become part of our liturgy is the decoration of the Advent wreath in churches, as well as in schools and homes. The tradition started in the Scandinavian countries, were they experience very short days and long dark nights, and so they bring all their farming equipment inside their homes for the winter months. Some of the people started to decorate the wheel of their carts with green bows and then attached candles to them. The idea developed to introduce a similar custom in churches, with the four candles to symbolize the 4 Sundays of Advent. Three purple candles and a pink candle are lit on the Sundays, respectively for the colour of the vestment the priest. On the third Sunday a pink vestment is used to symbolize joy. Some churches leave the Advent wreath throughout the Christmas season and add a white candle for Christmas.