Hire
Writers
Editors
Home Tour About Read What's New Help Forums Join
My Account Login
Shop
Save
Support
E
Book
Store
Learn
About
Jesus
  

Four Ways For A Christian Writer To Win A Publishing Package HERE



The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!



 
Holidays PLEASE ENCOURAGE THE AUTHOR BY COMMENTING

  LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE   SEND A PRIVATE MESSAGE
  HIRE THIS WRITER
REPORT ARTICLE

 TRACK THIS AUTHOR ADD TO MY FAVORITES
corner
What's New
 
corner
 
Anticipation and Advent Candles Meditations
by Edy T Johnson 
11/19/09
Free to Share
Author requests article critique


  Mail
 





Anticipation


Only once did we have to wait until Christmas morning for our presents. That was because some of us had been just naughty enough to send us all to bed on Christmas Eve. What a shock! We were sure the folks would relent, but they stood firm. We could take comfort that our gifts remained waiting for us, but the delay in getting our hands on them felt like an itch you cannot scratch.

Because it was so different from the norm, it stands out in my mind while routine Christmas memories have faded into a singular recall. Days and weeks leading up to the longed for Eve didn't change much from year to year. Because our dad loved to decorate for the holiday season, our tree went up early in Advent. Then, wrapped packages, some from the post office, began to multiply beneath the boughs. The temptation was too great. We had to check things over, looking for something with our own name on it. Then we shook it and poked it and tried to figure out what it could be. Some of the wrappings displayed their worse for wear, but we didn't quite dare to actually sneak a peek inside. If we couldn't figure it out, we just had to wait for the ultimate unveiling.


The Advent season repeats this familiar story of anticipation we see in parallel themes. As we light each Advent candle, the drama unfolds: First we have the light of HOPE in the pronouncements of old. In the beginning, God did not leave Adam and Eve without comfort, when their sin expelled them from Paradise. Instead, He promised them that one day a Redeemer would arise to deliver all of creation from the curse of sin and death. Down through the years, ancient prophets, like Isaiah, repeated the promise to the children of Israel, reminding them to continue watching for that Redeemer Messiah.

The Second candle we light represents the light of PEACE. Without the hope of redemption symbolized by the first candle, we would know no peace. All over the world, today, men's hearts fail them for fear. Longfellow's Christmas carol, "I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day" expresses well that heart in turmoil. But, the bells signal an answer to the poet's heart: *Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail With peace on earth, good will to men.”*

Almighty God prepared the manger of Bethlehem to be the birthplace of the Messiah. He prepares our hearts as well, to be His home. And, He calls us, His followers, to trim our lamps to light the way for the return of the Prince of Peace to this broken world.

Third, we light the candle of JOY. For the shepherds watching their flocks by night, this joy first struck terror in their hearts. They had never seen anything like it, this heavenly choir in blazing glory singing the good news. "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." And, we read that after they had seen the signs for themselves, "the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."

When hearts are filled with joy, they cannot help but overflow; first the angels, then the shepherds, then the rest of us. The joy spreads like wildfire, so all the world will know: the Good Shepherd of the sheep is our promised Redeemer, and He is God with us, Emmanuel.

Finally, we realize the Messiah is near, in the flesh. God who is love, that holy LOVE is reflected in the light of our Fourth Advent candle. It is this Love that was born of Mary. This is the Love born in our hearts that poured out in the blood of the Lamb at Calvary, for sinners slain. This Love has gone to prepare a place for us, that where He is we may be also.

First HOPE, the promise we anticipate, calms our fearful hearts with the PEACE that passes understanding. Then JOY breaks through when we follow the Word and see the signs that we stand on the threshold of fulfillment. We hear the shout, the Bridegroom Messiah is ready to enter our world in the flesh. Our lamps burn brightly. We go out to greet the LOVER of our souls, Jesus of Nazareth, the Lamb of God, Messiah. Behold, He makes all things new. Halleluia!

He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! ---Revelation 22:20 (ESV)

Copyright 2009---Edy T Johnson


For use as Advent Candle-Lighting Meditations:

1. Hope - The Light of the World
Scripture: from the prophet Isaiah, chapter 9 verse 2
*The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Meditation:
Today we light the first Advent candle. This candle symbolizes HOPE. In the beginning, God did not leave Adam and Eve without comfort, when their sin expelled them from Paradise. Instead, He promised them that one day a Redeemer would arise to deliver all of creation from the curse of sin and death.

Down through the years, ancient prophets, like Isaiah, repeated the promise to the children of Israel, reminding them to continue watching for that Redeemer Messiah.

Even today, we anticipate the return of our Redeemer, as He promised the disciples. That's the reason we lift up the Light of the world for those still in the dark, because our redemption draws near.

Prayer: (from the hymn by Charles Wesley)
Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.


2. Peace - The Prince of Peace
Scripture: from the prophet Micah, chapter 5 verse 2 (ESV)
* But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.

Meditation:
The second Advent candle we light today represents the light of PEACE. Without the hope of redemption symbolized by the first candle, we would know no peace. All over the world, today, men's hearts fail them for fear. Longfellow's Christmas carol expresses well that heart in turmoil:

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Almighty God prepared the manger of Bethlehem to be the birthplace of the Messiah. He prepares our hearts as well, to be His home. And, He calls us, His followers, to trim our lamps to light the way for the return of the Prince of Peace to this broken world.

Prayer: (from the hymn by Phillips Brooks)
...O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!


3. Joy - The Good Shepherd
Scripture: from the 23rd Psalm:
*The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Meditation:
Our third Advent candle represents JOY. For the shepherds watching their flocks by night, this joy first struck terror in their hearts. Like us, they had never seen anything like it, this heavenly choir in blazing glory singing the good news. "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." And, we read that after they had seen the signs for themselves, "the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."

When hearts are filled with joy, they cannot help but overflow. First the angels, then the shepherds, then the rest of us. The joy spreads like wildfire, so all the world will know: the Good Shepherd of the sheep is our promised Redeemer, and He is God with us, Emmanuel.

Prayer: (from the hymn by Paul Gerhardt)
All my heart this night rejoices,
As I hear, far and near, sweetest angel voices;
“Christ is born,” their choirs are singing,
Till the air, everywhere, now their joy is ringing...

Thee, dear Lord, with heed I’ll cherish;
Live to Thee and with Thee, dying, shall not perish;
But shall dwell with Thee for ever,
Far on high, in the joy that can alter never.


4. Love - The Lamb of God
Scripture: from the second chapter of Luke's Gospel:
"Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel."
...And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."

Meditation:
God is love, and that holy LOVE is reflected in the light of our fourth Advent candle. It is this Love that was born of Mary. This is the Love born in our hearts that poured out in the blood of the Lamb at Calvary, for sinners slain. This Love has gone to prepare a place for us, that where He is we may be also.

First HOPE, the promise we anticipate, calms our fearful hearts with the PEACE that passes understanding. Then JOY breaks through when we follow the Word and see the signs that we stand on the threshold of fulfillment. We hear the shout, the Bridegroom Messiah is ready to enter our world in the flesh. Our lamps are burning brightly and we go out to greet the Lover of our souls, Jesus of Nazareth, the Lamb of God, Messiah. Behold, He makes all things new. Halleluia!

Prayer: (from the hymn by Paul Gerhardt)
How shall I meet Thee? How my heart
Receive her Lord aright?
Desire of all the earth Thou art!
My hope, my sole delight!
Kindle the lamp, Thou Lord, alone,
Half-dying in my breast,
And make Thy gracious pleasure known
How I may greet Thee best.

---Edy T Johnson---







If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

Read more articles by Edy T Johnson  or search for articles on the same topic or others.


Read More - Free Reprints, Main Site Articles, Most Read Articles or highly acclaimed Challenge Articles. Read Great New Release Christian Books for FREE in our Free Reads for Reviews Program. Christian writers can JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and help spread the Gospel.


The opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.

Hire a Christian Writer, Christian Writer Wanted, Christian Writer Needed, Christian Content Needed
Find a Christian Editor, Hire a Christian Editor, Christian Editor, Find a Christian Writer
 
corner
Corner
This article has been read 2078 times     < Previous | Next >


Member Comments
Member Date
Pastor Dan White 19 Nov 2009
Edy - I'm going to incorporate your beautiful and reverant meditations into my Advent services. Thanks for your dedicated service in writing for our Lord and for us.




TRUST JESUS TODAY














Free Audio Bible
500 Plus Languages
Faith Comes By Hearing.com