"But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
The modern, traditional Advent season covers the four Sundays leading up to Christmas and ending on Christmas eve. The season is viewed as a time of great expectation and preparation for the arrival of the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ. This time of year is an opportunity for Christians to remember God’s faithfulness in promising a Savior and then fulfilling His promise through Jesus.
The Advent wreath is often used by Christian families and churches. The wreath has four candles around the wreath and a fifth in the middle. In some traditions, a candle is lit on each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. The fifth candle is lit on Christmas day. Each of the four main candles represent part of the expectation of the Messiah: Hope, Preparation, Joy and Love. The fifth candle represents Jesus Christ.
Looking Forward, Not Just Looking Back
While remembering Jesus birth is a good thing, as Christians we also need to look forward to his second coming. A day is coming when Jesus will come back to the Earth and be King. Advent is a time to look forward to that great day win increased intensity.