Dear Members and Friends,
In this Christmas season let us be reminded of Advent which begins four Sundays before Christmas. Advent has two special purposes; first to prepare us for the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth and secondly it reminds us that we are anxiously waiting for Jesus’ return to the world. What is the word Advent? It comes from the Latin word Adventus or Advenio which means arrival. It is the first season in the church calendar and has been celebrated since 7th century A.D.all over the world in preparing for Christmas day.At College Hill Community Church we celebrate ‘The Hanging of the Greens’ on the 1st Sunday in December with an Advent Wreath like the one above. It is a time to reflect and think
about Jesus Christ who came to earth as an infant born in Bethlehem . During advent a candle is lit each Sunday until all the candles are lit on Christmas Day.
The Advent candles are usually in three colors; purple, pink & white. Scripture readings are read while the candles are being lit.
The 1st Candle – Candle of Hope reminds us that all of our Hope comes from God because he is faithful and will keep his promises made to us. It is a time to wait on the Lord. Psalm 27:14 says, “ Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord” and remain in faith while you wait.”
The 2nd Candle – Candle of Preparation means to “be ready” to welcome the Savior! God kept his word of a Savior born in Bethlehem. Isaiah 40:3 says, A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for God.”
The 3rd Candle – Candle of Joy A message of Joy came to the Shepherds, a Savior was born! Luke 2:15 tells us, “When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that had happened which the Lord has told us about.”
The 4th Candle – Candle of Love is the big announcement of the good news John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” If you want to know how to love, let this scripture be your example.
The 5th Candle is the The Christ Candle. Jesus birth was for his dying for us and his dying was for our birth into the world. John 1:29 says, “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world’!”
And this is what Advent is all about. We invite everyone to attend our Advent Services during December. Bring your friends and family so we can keep The Christ in Christmas and remember that Jesus is the Reason for The Season. On December 17, 2017 we will present a very special Christmas Play “The Real Gift” at 10:30 am during our worship service. Everyone is welcome!
On Sunday December 31st at 10:30am we will celebrate our annual Kwanzaa service.
On Monday January 1st at 2:00 pm, College Hill Community Church will have a Community Wide Emancipation Proclamation Service hosted by The MLK Commission. Trinity Presbyterian Church and others will worship with us. “If Christ makes you free you will be free indeed”
Most Holy and Gracious God, we look forward to the promise of the coming of Jesus in our hearts, lives and homes. Bless us during The Advent waiting period. Fill our hearts that we worship with joy, anticipation and love. We dedicate ourselves to prepare your way in our hearts lifting each other up and by smoothing the rocky places of others..Give us compassion to wait for one another. Give us courage to wait for hard times. Give us patience to wait… and to trust you when our lives are darkened with people like Herod. Give us the wisdom to know you are always with us…Let us release our wills and take up your will that we make room in our hearts for the Christ child and that we may know peace beyond our understanding this Holiday season and always…Amen
Merry Christmas and a very blessed New Year!
Pastor Darryll Young