All the "Whys" of Christmas
This Advent, we’re going to look at the “why” of the holiday. Why did God choose to bring His Son to earth the way He did?
Some folks might tell us we can’t ask why. But the book of Job tells us another truth, God doesn’t mind the whys. And the whys often help us understand our Creator a bit better.
But the first question we must answer, even before we begin is this one . . . Why Advent?
Like Christmas, Advent is a totally manmade holiday season. You won’t find it anywhere in the Bible. But what we do find in the scriptures are many feasts and festival that God Himself set up so the people of Israel wouldn’t forget the good things the Almighty had done. So hundreds of years ago when the early church was developing, they set up a few extra holidays to celebrate the goodness of God, and Christmas along with the Advent season was just one of several.
The word Advent comes from the Latin “to come.” It’s a time to remember that Christ came to earth. And it’s a time to remember how He came. He could have chosen to come as an adult or to a wealthy family. Instead He decided to come as a helpless baby, the Son of an impoverished family. We celebrate the goodness of God to send us a Redeemer and Savior.
But, “Why Advent?” isn’t the only question we need to answer.
Why a Wreath?
Often as folks read the Advent devotions each night, they’ll use a wreath with candles to help focus on the scripture and the reading. The circular wreath reminds us that just like a circle has no end, Christ’s love and life will never quit either. The green of the wreath symbolizes the same.
Generally candles are a big part of every Advent celebration. Many families light one each night of the first week and add a candle every week after. They are usually stationed around the wreath like the four main numbers on a clock. Any color candle will do; however, deep red, purple or royal blue candles symbolize the royalty and majesty of Jesus, the King. Sometimes a pink candle is used during the third week to remind us of Joy. All of the candles remind us Christ came to be the light in a dark world. Each week our Advent Wreath will become brighter and brighter despite the fact the season is held during the coldest and darkest season on the earth.
The wreath and the candles are optional. They are a touching reminder of the truth of Christ, but the important this is to read the scripture as well as the short meditation each day and then close in prayer. Whether you are by yourself or with your family, pray for those whose cards you received that day, pray for your church family, and ask your Heavenly Father to open your heart as well as your spiritual eyes and ears and let His Spirit flow through you so you can understand the whys of the season a bit better than ever before!
The Candles of Advent
This year we'll call the candles of advent
Each of these concepts will help us explore the "Why" of the season. Right on this page you'll find
- Why Angels?
- Why did they call Him Jesus?
- Why did they have a Census?
- Why Nazareth?
- Why is He called "Wonderful Counselor"?
- and many more
The first week of Advent
The Candle of Contemplation
A Sneak Peak at the First Week of Advent
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David.
The virgin’s name was Mary.
Nazareth, the town didn’t even exist during Old Testament times, and while Jesus lived there it may have had 1000 residents, but the population was probably closer to 500. Even Nathaniel asked the question, “Can anything good ever come out of Nazareth?”
God always defies human logic. He said in Isaiah 55:9, “My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” Our human minds wonder why Jesus’ Father didn’t choose a more notable place for the Savior of the world to be raised, but His humble upbringing make it even more convincing that Jesus is the Christ.
If your using candles, tonight we light only one. If the lights are out you’ll notice this single flame seems insignificant in the room. It’s a good reminder of Nazareth.
Jesus was raised in an insignificant town by insignificant parents. There’s no real record of His grandparents other than His grandfathers’ first names listed in the genealogy lists. He was only called “Mary’s Son” by the people of His hometown. Outside of that no one knew who He was. And the term Nazarene has a not so nice overtone every time it’s used in the scripture.
Despite His obscure upbringing, people started noticing Jesus all over Israel by the first Passover of His ministry. Within months of His baptism, whenever Jesus entered an area, people traveled twenty miles or more to see Him. We might expect such notoriety for someone born in Jerusalem or the son of a high priest or a king, but the fact a nobody from a nothing town born to nondescript parents made such an impact in so short a time just solidifies His position as the Son of God.
I wonder if that’s the reason Yahweh chose Nazareth. No one was looking for the Messiah to come from some tiny unimportant town. But Nazareth proves our Almighty God doesn’t need fanfare to become famous. Nazareth reminds us the Creator is God of the miniscule as well as the mighty. On those days we feel irrelevant and inconsequential, we can remember Jesus’ hometown and live in the truth that God has consistently chosen the minimal to be magnificent.
Stop back for even more Advent meditations!
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- A New Advent Meditation Every Day
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- Christmas - Whose Birthday is it Anyway?
We act like Christmas is our birthday! Everyone spends more time shopping and wrapping than thinking about the One whose birth we celebrate. This page of devotions was written to help remedy that!