Tuesday, November 29, 2011

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

This past Sunday evening, the first Sunday in Advent, Mrs. RWP and I sat down with ten other families in our church’s fellowship hall and made Advent wreaths. The one we made looks not unlike the one in the photograph above if you take away everything red or gold. Then each family lit one purple candle and our pastor led in several prayers to which we responded, “Lord, have mercy” and we sang “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and after our pastor spoke for a little while we all repeated the Lord’s Prayer together. It was a sweet time.

We were encouraged to take our Advent wreaths home with us and on succeeding Sunday evenings during Advent to light two candles, then three (the third one, pink, represents joy), and so forth, until the evening the Christ Child is born.

“Ho hum,” you may be saying. “Same old same old. So what?”

So what is that it is not same old same old for us. This is the first time in both of our 70+ years that either of us has ever observed Advent. We both have been Christians for most of those years, but we attended churches that considered observance of Advent unnecessary, superfluous, meaningless, an empty tradition.

We have discovered that we disagree. We find it beautiful and inspiring, with the emphasis in exactly the right place -- anticipating with hope and joy the coming of the Redeemer.

Here is an essay (it happens to have been written by a Roman Catholic writer) called “The End of Advent” that is worth reading. It first appeared in 2007.

This year, let’s not be so eager for the Christmas goodies (I can almost hear the seagulls in Finding Nemo crying, “Mine! Mine!” as they dive for fish) that we miss Advent.


  1. this comment does relate to the post<>><<>all<><><><><>you know i believe in my christian faith and church<><>right??but every year at easter i am up for a good lesson on the atonment and ressurrection of the dead and i always get a lesson or am asked to prepare a lesson on Naubaum's feast in aruba on Easter sunday and my thoughts are just not there and i have mentioned this to the """authority""" and they say that this is the lesson that is given everywhere in the church on that day><<>,part of the cirricularum

  2. Putz (David), my post is about observing the season of Advent that precedes Christmas and your comment is about Naubaum's feast in aruba on Easter sunday. Except that Advent, Christmas, and Easter are all words having to do with Christianity, my post and your comment don't seem all that related.

    I have never before heard of Naubaum's feast in aruba on Easter sunday but I do know that it appears nowhere in the New Testament. I did look briefly at an online edition of the Book of Mormon, which I know all LDS folk consider to be another testament of Jesus Christ (I personally do not), but I couldn't find it there either, not even in the book of 3 Nephi which covers the time period you mentioned (assuming that you were referring to the original Easter Sunday when Jesus Christ rose from the dead).

    My only advice is this: If you want to know about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, stick with the Gospels in the New Testament, and if you want to know about Naubaum's feast in aruba on Easter sunday, stick with the LDS """authorities""" and keepers of the cirricularum [sic].

    This reminds me somehow of Jesus telling someone to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and render unto God that which is God's.

    If you give yourself to God you are on the right track no matter what any """authority""" says.

  3. 'Oh Little Town of Bethlehem' was my absolute favourite hymn when I was young. I still have a soft spot for it.

  4. Very good post. I haven't officially observed Advent either, but it sounds like a good idea. I do work at keeping the focus on the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, since that's the whole point, after all! Blessings to you.