THE PURPOSE OF OUR CELEBRATION AND MEDITATIONS
We are meditating on the conception of Christ during the season of Advent. I celebrate Advent because of the conception of Christ that I think happened on December 25th. If you wish to know more about those thoughts you may find them here: HOW GOD MAKES ALL THINGS NEW – PIECES OF THE PUZZLE – IN RELATION TO THE DATE OF CHRISTMAS
There are four candles on the outside of the advent wreath, and one candle is lit each Sabbath. This week we will light the second candle.
(If you missed the meditations for lighting the first candle; you may find it here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/the-first-sabbath-of-advent-a-meditation-on-waiting-seasons/)
FOUR THOUSAND YEARS WITHOUT MESSIAH
Each candle represents one thousand years, with a total of four thousand years all together from the creation of Adam until the time of the conception of Christ.
The first candle, the waiting candle represents our waiting on Messiah to arrive in our lives.
The second candle represents our prayers, penance and sacrifice on our journey toward knowing more of God. These are things we all must be DOING in order to get prepared for God to be MORE in our lives.
When we light the third candle (on our next Sabbath) we should be inside a time after remembering the times of waiting, prayer, penance and sacrifice; we will arrive at a place of joy.
We are not there yet; because before we can get to that place of transformation, joy and peace, we must allow God to prepare our hearts.
We must do the work of believing, repenting, turning, changing and obeying. These things are the things that allow God to bring transformation into our lives. We must begin to step into the True Light of Christ.
ARRIVING AT A TIME OF CHANGE AFTER LEAVING A LIFE IN DARKNESS
For thousands of years there was no light. People lived in darkness without God’s Holy Spirit and the sacrifice of Christ to save them from their sins.
With the lighting of the first candle we began to meditate on the transformation that comes from hope. With the lighting of the second candle we begin to meditate on the transformations that come from being obedient to God.
The progressive lighting of the candles first represents the anticipation and hope in the first coming and the anticipation and hope for the second coming return of Christ. He is coming back to us; and He will save us from a world of darkness and despair.
We are all still waiting together and anticipating the light that only He can bring.
THE SECOND CANDLE TELLS US MORE ABOUT THE JOURNEY THAN THE DESTINATION
Sometimes though, life seems to be as much about the journey as the arriving.
Often what matters in the end is what we do in-between the constant distractions.
We can see all the journeys of the bible that have not seemed significant until they were over and the people of God were looking back at all the things God taught them as they traveled to their destinations.
We are all on a journey right now through life. Our destination is God’s Holy Kingdom, but we are still on our way. We have not yet arrived. All the way God is teaching us, changing us, transforming us into the destiny that He desires for our lives. Christ coming to live among us made this possible.
These are the places where we must live out the messages we hear with the lighting of the candles. We must always be seeking for more light. We must always be seeking the face of God; just as Mary looked forward to seeing the face of her new-born child during her time of pregnancy.
We must be looking forward with hope and doing things in our daily lives that anticipate the second coming of Christ into our world.
THE DESTINATION IS CHRIST
The large candle in the middle, the one that is elevated, represents the fullness of Christ to us.
We must always be walking toward that fullness of Christ in the days of our lives. This is the goal of walking in the light of Christ. Each light adds more illumination into our paths. We think of that old Psalm of David that says: “He leads me in the path of righteousness; He restores my soul.” Each new lighting of the candles bring us further down the path of light that Christ sheds our way. Each time we ponder these wondrous events of the conception of Christ, our meditations and thoughts take us into a new place of more and more light.
The elevated candle in the center is the candle which is lighted last on the day many believe that Christ was conceived, (December 25th.) This candle sheds the most light. With the other candles lit and then this one; we are finally able to see!
The candle that sheds the most light, that represents Christ is placed in the center because Christ should always have the place of the center of our daily lives.
It is also elevated above the others because He should always be given the highest place of elevation, honor and worship in our lives. The light and message of Christ should always be above everything else that we do, say or think.
When we keep Christ as the center of our universe; He becomes the compass of our lives.
Eventually there comes the time of the end of the pregnancy when the baby is born. This is what we celebrated in the Fall of the year at The Feast of Tabernacles.
Each year as we place the figures of Joseph, Mary and Jesus out in our sukkah; we also bring the candle that represents Christ. We light this candle again in celebration of Him being born as The Light of the World.
MARY KNEW GOD
By the end of Advent when we come to the last candle in the center of the wreath; we are to a place of really KNOWING that Christ has arrived.
As we are lighting the candle in the Advent wreath though, in terms of the calendar, by now the little child is already three months old!
This is where we are celebrating a little like the wise men who came as the Christ Child was older; yet still a child and we proclaim: He is here!
It is a great miracle, this conception, this birth, this child that will become a man/god who will bring our souls through to eternal life.
We celebrate that He is living and growing among us and showing us every day how to live like Him.
He whispers to us that the waiting is over.
He is with us and He will always be with us.
With the conception of Christ (and the birth of Christ) the thing the whole world held their breath about has now transpired, and the light in the center of the wreath shines out bigger and brighter than ever.
We welcome Christ into the center of our homes.
We focus our daily adoration upon Him as our Savior; as the groom that is one day coming for us a second time.
We must always be seeking His will in our lives. We must begin to prepare ourselves for the time of the great wedding feast in Heaven when God will bless our holy union forever.
WE PREPARE NOW BECAUSE WE KNOW THE END OF THE STORY
All of the things about the last candle are why the second candle reminds us to prepare.
We will eventually reach the last candle and Christ will be King.
We must make way for Him and prepare our hearts to receive Him joyfully into our lives forever.
Every moment we are constantly watching, waiting and seeking Him.
When will He arrive? Come Lord Jesus Come!
Even this moment – we are waiting and watching the skies with hope.
All of our hearts are saying “Come quickly Lord Jesus!”