Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, I trust that You are well and healthy this Advent Sunday, the first Sunday in Advent as we build up to Christmas.
What is Advent?
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word for “coming”, and the season marks the countdown to Christmas. Churches observe this period by remembering the anticipation for the birth of Jesus, and preparing to celebrate the Nativity. Historically, many Christians would fast during Advent and then feast over the 12 Days of Christmas.
The most popular Advent activity is, of course, the daily opening of an Advent calendar. The tradition originated in Germany in the 1800s, with the first Advent calendars sold in shops in the early 1900s. Some people also choose to gradually burn an Advent candle, or keep an Advent wreath. During the Advent period, people prepare for Christmas by decorating their homes, putting up Christmas trees and singing carols.
What are the 4 Sundays of Advent for?
- On the first Sunday of Advent (today) we look forward to the Second Coming of Christ.
- On the second Sunday (December 6) they will remember John the Baptist, who came to “prepare the way of the Lord”.
- The readings on the third Sunday (December 13) will also focus on John the Baptist.
- On the fourth and final Sunday of Advent (December 20), the readings are about Mary and Joseph, and the events around the birth of Christ.
- Advent ends on Thursday 24 December, Christmas Eve.
So, today I wish You all a Happy Advent Sunday. I ask You to reflect on the meaning of Advent, to think about Your life and how it might change. I also urge You to pray the following prayer and wish You all a peaceful and constructive week to come. God Bless.
only you can see into my heart and know
that under all the busy-ness of my life,
there is a deep longing
to make this Advent one that welcomes you
more deeply into my own life.
My heart desires the warmth of your love
and my mind searches for your Light
in the midst of the darkness.
Help me to be a peacemaker this Advent
and to give special love to those
who disagree with me.
Give me the strength and courage
to forgive those who have hurt me.
Help me to free my heart
from the prison of my anger and hurt.