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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Graber

I love Jesus & Advent: His light...

Do you remember that Sunday school song, "This Little Light of Mine"? I've been thinking about the advent candles, what they represent, and my own light. Er...um... the light that I'm supposed to shine . . . which has maybe flickered a bit lately.


Now, I'm no expert on Advent, but here's what I know:

  • Each of the candles stands for a characteristic we should hold in preparation for the coming of the Messiah:

    • Hope

    • Peace

    • Joy (The pink one!)

    • Love

  • The white candle in the center represents Jesus.

If you need more on the theology, you're going to have to talk to a minister or theologin or something. This is the extent of my knowledge on this particular symbology and primarily here as a sort of...well...metaphoric object lesson. (You let me know if you think it's a good one.) I want to focus on what's in the center and why that light is so significant.


Jesus represents the light of the world. In the scripture, Jesus says, "Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8: 12). During candlelight services, I remember how each light in the sanctuary at my church would go out as each row of candles was being lit. Simultaneously, the light of the candles was overcoming the darkness as the story of Jesus' birth was taking place. I never felt scared during these services because I knew the light from the candle flames would keep the sanctuary bright and a little warmth came from them.


Jesus is like that. He is the light of the world. When Jesus is our center, the darkness is driven out. The center candle of the advent circle sort of acts this way, too; the center candle is supposed to represent the light of Christ. The center candle in the advent circle is also surrounded by the pillars of christ-centered action or behavior: hope, joy peace and love. The greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).


When the light of Jesus isn't shining through us, it's like blowing out hope, peace, joy, and love. Or if one of the pillars is not upheld, the light of Jesus might flicker. Last week, I let my flame flicker. So many good things were happening in the name of Jesus! I let my accuser get at me in one moment of weakeness, and the peace, joy, hope, and love got blown out like they had been hit with a high powered wind. I can blame all of the people I want to, but the truth is that I took my eyes off Jesus and the light of Jesus I was supposed to be shining flickered.


The song goes like this:


Don’t let Satan blow it out!

I’m going to let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine


Friends, it's the season of rejoicing! I think of how Mary and Joseph were blessed because they didn't listen to the accusations of others; they listened to God. I think of how the sheperds heard the angels voices and how the wise men came to honor Jesus. Oh, these things were a big deal! Ultimately, Christians celebrate these things because the birth of Jesus lead to his sacrifice which overcame the sin of the world!


John 3:16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

What does this have to do with advent candles? Everything. The pillars represent Christ's character--the same character we should be reflecting to try to light up the world with the love of Jesus.


Maybe you had a bad day too, like mine, but don't let the accuser get you down. Those other voices don't matter. Listen to God. Don't let Satan blow out your light; let it shine bright like the love of Christ.


If my message doesn't inspire you, listen to the Go Fish Guys; they really rock this classic!


Merry Christmas,

Michelle


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