Prepare the Way "The prophets foretold the coming of Christ (Malachi 3:1-4), as did Zechariah (Luke 1:68-79) and John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the Lord (Luke 3:1-6). Until Christ returns again, we strive to become more like him (Philippians 1:3-11)." -Thomas Oden
This is a season for waiting and cultivating an awareness of God’s promises.
Past, present, and future.
Hear the Prophets speak.
In Advent, we sharpen our gaze in anticipation.
Christ has come, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.
Representing the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent
Representing the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.
This progression symbolizes our waiting experience. As the candles are lit, despair and the shadows of sin fall away. Each new candle reminds us that something is happening and that more is yet to come.
First candle = the candle of Expectation,Hope, or Prophecy
Three candles are purple and one is pink.
Pink candle = the candle of Joy. It is lit on Third Sunday of Advent
White candle = the Christ candle. It is lit on Christmas Eve andsymbolizes the joy of Christ born as a human on Christmas Day.
"In our secret yearnings
we wait for your coming,
and in our grinding despair
we doubt that you will.
And in this privileged place
we are surrounded by witnesses who yearn more than do we
and by those who despair more deeply than do we.
Look upon your church and its pastors
in this season of hope
which runs so quickly to fatigue
and in this season of yearning
which becomes so easily quarrelsome.
Give us the grace and the impatience
to wait for your coming to the bottom of our toes, to the edges of our fingertips.
We do not want our several worlds
Come in your power
and come in your weakness
in any case
and make all things new. Amen."
― Walter Brueggemann,
inAwed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the HolyvSpirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. -from The Book of Common Prayer