ADVENT: HOPE AND PEACE
Posted by: District Elder Roy Sokolowsky
The word ‘Advent’ comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming” or “arrival”. We look back with thankfulness at the arrival of Jesus Christ many years ago, but we are also awaiting His second coming. He will return in all glory and might, not as a baby in a manger!
Advent is the period that begins four Sundays before Christmas. It also marks the start of the liturgical year. In many countries, Advent is celebrated by lighting candles. The flame symbolizes and commemorates the Christmas light that brought hope and peace with the birth of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. John wrote the following referring to His birth:
John 1: 9 (NIV) – “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”
Our hope is in Jesus Christ, the foundation of our salvation. As written in Hebrews 12: 2: “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,…”
Jesus gives His disciples peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid”
(John 14: 27; NIV).
Indeed, this Advent season and Christmas will be very different for most of us due to the pandemic. With the restrictions imposed on us, we will not have as many gatherings of family and friends as in the past years. In some areas, there may be none at all. This will be difficult for all of us, especially for those who live alone. Nevertheless, let us remember Christ’s promise: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28: 20 - NKJV).
This year more than ever, may our faith in Christ light our spiritual candle, and may the flame of hope and peace burn brightly within us and around us!
As we prepare for Christmas in this time of Advent, let us make sure that we continuously prepare for the return of Christ, the bridegroom of our souls. That is the most important event. As our Chief Apostle stated “Despite the cancellations of many events due to COVID-19, the first resurrection is not cancelled and the return of Christ is not delayed. That is our comfort!”