Thursday, December 4, 2014

#ChurchTrending: The Unholy Advent Wreath

December 3, 2014 | By: 0 Comments 
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Advent is a special time of the year in which we (are supposed to) slow down and reorient our lives to Jesus during this season of expectation and hope leading up to the celebration of his birth.
 
Having grown up in a non-liturgical tradition, I have really come to appreciate the Christian year calendar and the rhythms it gives me by which to live my days. These various seasons allow me to live into the Christ story for the sake of my own formation.
 
Each week of Advent is marked by the lighting of a different candle around the Advent wreath. The four candles around the wreath are representative of hope, peace, joy, and love. In the middle of the wreath stands a lone white candle, larger than the rest, which represents Christ. The Christ candle is lit on Christmas Day, or Christmas Eve, and signifies the end of waiting, the realization of expectation.
 
While this candle is not lit until the end of Advent, it looms large throughout the whole season. It is the candle that the other four candles center on. They are there as a result of this candle. Christ at the center means hope, peace, joy, and love. To remove Christ is to quickly dispose of the others.
 
As I’ve been reflecting, I’ve concluded that most of us fail to realize that there is an Advent wreath in all our lives. An unholy Advent wreath. 
 
The unholy Advent wreath works in reverse. Rather than waiting to light the candle in the center, we light it first, rushing ahead to take matters into our own hands. You see, it is not the Christ candle we light, it is the me candle. The Christ candle has been displaced from the center of the wreath, an accurate reflection of Christ being displaced from the center of our life.
 
 

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