Today marked the first Sunday of Advent and tradition is, in my experience, that the first candle represents Hope or Expectation (Prophecy). Our scripture reading this evening was read by Kodiak and he took it from the NIV but I thought this version from the Message was great:
"Get out of bed, Jerusalem! Wake up. Put your face in the sunlight.
God's bright glory has risen for you.
The whole earth is wrapped in darkness,
all people sunk in deep darkness,
But God rises on you,
his sunrise glory breaks over you.
Nations will come to your light,
kings to your sunburst brightness." ~ Isaiah 60:1-3, The Message
La Diva lit the first purple candle. We had a brief discussion about what we are looking towards and why we are adopting the tradition of our own Advent wreath. Brief because I had to very goofy little boys at the table this evening. The Hero closed with a prayer.
Are you hopeful this season? Are you filled with expectancy? The American Heritage Dictionary defines hope as:
- To look forward to with confidence or expectation;
- To expect and desire.
For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) ~ Romans 8:22-25 NLT