What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Monday, November 28, 2016

On the First Day of Advent...

Hi everyone...and welcome to Advent!  Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent, and we did pretty much the same thing as last year, so I will just repeat this post from last year....  This picture was also taken last year...and our wreath this year is very similar, using the same cedar candlestick holders that my son created for us last year.

So, without further adieu, let the 2016 Advent Adventure begin:



On this first Sunday of Advent we gathered together in our home for our weekly church service with neighbors and friends and started the service with the lighting of the first candle on the 
Advent Wreath:






As we lit the first candle we read:

"This candle reminds us of the promise of the prophets that a Messiah would come.  The prophecy candle is symbolic of long years of waiting during which the prophets, inspired by God, kept alive the hope that the Son of God was coming to redeem us."

Then we read the following scriptures:

Isaiah 7:14


"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall
call His name Immanuel."

Isaiah 9:2-7

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, 
Upon them a light has shined.

You have multiplied the nation
and increased its joy;
They rejoice before You 
according to the joy of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
For YOU have broken the yoke of his burden
and the staff of his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
as in the day of Midian.
For every warrior's sandal from the noisy battle,
and garments rolled in blood,
Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
there will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
to order it and establish it with judgment and justice
from that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."


And then we sang together  "O Come, O Come, Immanuel"

I will continue the Advent Candle series next week when we light the second candle.  If you have never experienced the lighting of an Advent Wreath before, here is a little bit of the history:

"The word "Advent" comes from the Latin, "Adventus", meaning "coming" or "coming in", and the "coming in" of Christ has been celebrated by man on many different levels, both spiritual and social since the first years of Christianity.  The traditional Advent Wreath, like most Christmas and Advent customs, has been passed on from generation to generation.  In the Advent Wreath's evergreen boughs we are reminded of the eternalness of God.  In it's perfect circle, His all-encompassing love is symbolized.  Each week, as we add the glow of one more candle, we meditate upon another facet of the life and role of our Lord.  Candles, which are living flames, are symbolic of Christ, the Light of the World, Whose coming is nearer as the light of the candles is increased.  The purple candles represent the royalty of Christ.  The pink candle is the purple fading into the white candle, which represents Christ's birth and His purity.
Jesus said, "I Am the Light of the World...Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness."  (John 8:12)" 
This year for our home Advent Wreath, I gathered some fresh green boughs from one of our pine trees, and wove their stems into a grapevine wreath that I already had. I also added a few branches of a wild holly tree that is loaded with red holly berries.  Then I placed the candles in candle holders inside the circle of the wreath.

 Our special antique table that we have been using for our home Communion Service (click HERE for more about that story) is also a perfect place to hold the Advent Wreath.  Little did my husband's grandfather know when he built this little table so many years ago how it would continue to honor the Lord in the homes of his future generations.

If there are times in your life that you are unable to attend worship services at a local church, there is no reason why you cannot have a home worship service.  Although for me it is unique because my husband is an ordained minister, but one does not have to have a seminary degree to lead your family in a time of worship.  You primarily need your Bible, and ask the Lord to guide you and give you insight into His Word.  The Bible tells us that "where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."  I am not suggesting that this should be the norm, but there are times and seasons in life when it may be necessary for reasons beyond your control.  And, even if you DO attend church regularly, there is still no reason why you cannot have times of home worship and prayer as a family or with your neighbors and friends. As a matter of fact, it could be a true blessing for your family as well as those around you. 

In many nations of the world, this is the only form of church worship available, and that is often in what is considered "underground"...hidden and in secret, due to government restrictions and anti-christian leadership.  I pray that America never has to find out what that is...Pray for our nation. I look forward to the day when the fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy will be complete:

"Of the increase of HIS government and peace 
there will be no end..."
Isaiah 9:7

"O Come, O Come Emmanuel..."


Stay tuned for more ADVENT Adventures in the next few weeks as we prepare our hearts for the Advent of our Lord...The first advent was when Jesus came to earth as a baby in the manger in Bethlehem to offer Himself on a cross for our salvation.  His second advent will be when He returns to earth:

"Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads,
because your redemption draws near."
Luke 21:27-28

"But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that DAY come on your unexpectedly.
For it will come as a snare on those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape 
all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Luke 21:34-36

Are YOU Ready?

2 comments:

  1. Advent can be such a meaningful time, IF we focus on why we are celebrating. Just think: God came into our world as one of us, yet lived without sin! Wow!

    Great minds, think alike, right? I'm doing a series on Advent on my blog: http://www.faithjourneywithkim.blogspot.com/

    Merry Christmas!

    Kim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kim, for stopping by and visiting today. I feel such a need to share the ADVENT story with the world right now...as we prepare our hearts for Christmas...and also for the return of the Lord soon. I will check out your blog. I love how the Lord speaks to so many at the same time to get His message across. Blessings to you and yours in this Advent season.

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