Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Colossians 3:16 NIV

ADVENT - A time to involve the whole family in the meaning
of Christ’s birth.
There are calendars that have pop-up
squares to excite little ones as they
anticipate the next picture. There are
Bible stories that tell children of the Wise
men’s eagerness to find the special Jesus
child, and hymns written by men of God
that sing to the excitement of the arrival
of the Savior promised. There are Bible
verses that tell these truths. 
(Galatians 4:4).
What a magnificent time to share these exciting truths
with our family gathered together around an Advent Wreath.
Of course, the Advent Wreath is a European tradition,
but can be adapted to a shared family time of gathering
evergreen boughs to weave into a circle and finding seeds, nuts,
and cones to be placed on the wreath. Make family time while
the boughs are weaved into a circle (symbolic of Everlasting
Life), and the seeds, nuts, and cones (symbolic of the
Resurrection) are placed on the wreath, and an explanation
given for the meaning behind each action.
Next step is to add five candles. Three purple
(traditional) or blue (modern) candles representing repentance
& fasting plus the coming of a king; one pink or rose candle
representing joy and a shift in the season away from repentance
and toward celebration are placed in the circle of boughs, and a
white candle representing the sinless, pure Savior is placed in
the center.
Now it’s story time – time to gather around the wreath each
week and tell the family that the candles
will remind them that Jesus is the
LIGHT of the world (John 8:12), the
seeds will remind them that Jesus brings
new life (John 10:27-28), with joy (John
15:11) to each one of them, and the circle
of evergreens represents that life with
Jesus has no end (John 14:1-3). It’s a good
time to reinforce these truths in their lives.
What’s a procedure to celebrate this significant time for Christ’s
family? Here is a suggestion:


Sometime this week, the family
gathers around the Advent Wreath as
one candle is lighted and a member says:
“The candles show us that Jesus is the
Light of the World. The evergreens and
seeds remind us that He is life and
brings life to us. All these are arranged in a circle because our life
in Christ has no end. Today we light the first candle of the
Advent wreath as we begin our celebration of Advent, and
rejoice in the great gift that is ours in Jesus Christ. This first
candle is the candle of HOPE. We light the candle of HOPE first
because HOPE is our assurance that God will do all He has
promised in His word. We know all the promises of God are
fulfilled in Jesus Christ who is our HOPE today and forever! (2
Corinthians 1:20). Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
(2 Corinthians 9:15) Amen.”
Again, sometime during this
week, the family gathers around the
Advent Wreath, two candles are lighted
and a family member says: “Today we light
the candle of PEACE. Jesus has promised
us PEACE in all situations (John 14:27).
Our responsibility is to accept His
presence in our lives and trust His
guidance to lead us through all the bogs and breakdowns in our
lives. Come into our lives Lord Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)


By now the family has probably
decided on a day to circle round the
Advent Wreath. At this gathering a third
candle is lighted, and a member of the
family speaks: “Today we will light the
third candle – the candle of JOY”. This
might be a time when the family reviews some words of a mighty
church hymn: “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. No more let
sins and sorrows grow. He rules the world with truth and
grace.” Perhaps this is a time when family members can be
reminded that God’s Holy Spirit surrounds each one and waits
to guide each one through the future. Read John 15:11, and
remember; God sent Jesus His Son to offer us a JOYFUL life.
Thank you, Lord that you bring us JOY. Amen


Words for this gathering might begin:
“As we light the fourth candle – the
LOVE candle, we think of the meaning
of the Advent Wreath – an everlasting
life circle of HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and
LOVE. Jesus, the one whose birthday
we are about to celebrate has brought us
all these gifts. HOPE for eternal life by His Resurrection.
PEACE in our hearts as we trust His presence beside us each
day. JOY as He allows us to know Him as our savior. LOVE
through His gift of life to us by His death on the cross. And a
command to LOVE other people as much as we LOVE our self.”
(Matthew 22:39).
Grant us the strength, Oh Lord, to LOVE others as You have
LOVED us. Amen

A family speaker might
say: “As we light the Christ
candle, we celebrate the birth of
Jesus and rejoice in His coming
into our lives. Jesus is our HOPE,
our PEACE, our JOY, our LOVE.
Because of these truths, we can
claim the promise of John 3:16.
“Whosoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life” Welcome to our hearts,
Lord Jesus. Please keep our faith in You strong. Amen

--Article by Dick Hagerman
used with permission