International (BOC/MNN) — It’s early, but Buckner International is already excited about Christmas and the Advent season.
What is Advent? It’s a season that celebrates the coming of the Savior, a period of expectant waiting and preparation both for the birth and earthly ministry of Christ, and for His imminent return. It’s derived from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.”
It’s a time to slow down, reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, and take deliberate steps to infuse our lives with hope, love, peace, and joy in order to better celebrate and live out the truth of Christmas.
Each week of the four weeks of advent focuses on a specific theme. Each week is marked by the lighting of a candle held by a wreath that contains four candles: three purple and one rose.
Purple dyes were rare and costly, often associated with royalty; the color has often been used in the Church around Christmas and Easter to honor Jesus. The three purple candles in the Advent wreath symbolize hope, peace, and love. These candles are lit on the first, second, and fourth Sundays of Advent. The rose candle, which symbolizes joy, is usually lit on the third Sunday.
Sometimes a fifth candle is placed inside the Advent wreath. This candle is lit on Christmas Day. It is white, the color associated with angels and the birth of Christ.
At the same time, the countdown of the month brings anticipation with it. Advent calendars are used to focus the days on the “why” of celebrating, more than the “what.”
That’s also why Buckner would like to offer you, your church, or your small group a special way to celebrate and anticipate Christ with a daily devotional guide written by those who serve the “least of these” to take you through the Advent season.
The 2013 Advent Devotional Guide is free of charge. Click here to reserve your copies today, and Buckner will mail them to you between Nov. 1 and Nov. 15. Orders must be placed by October 18. Advent guides will be shipped beginning November 1.