Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Last Sunday was the first day of Advent which marked the beginning of the Liturgical Year for Western Christian churches. Advent Sunday is always the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the day when Christians remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus. The precise date of His birth is not known, but it was roughly 2015 years ago. In addition to remembering the birth of Jesus, Advent is also a time for looking forward to His promised second coming, not for the salvation of those who would believe in Him, as at His first coming, but for their resurrection. When He comes again, believers will be raised from the dead, and they will be transformed to have spiritual bodies similar to His. Living believers will also be transformed without experiencing death. His second advent is known as the Parousia.
Jesus proclaimed that He ‘is’ the Light of the World. He did not say He ‘was’ the Light of the World. (See Text for the Day at yesterday’s blog.) Within that context I have heard that pagans on their conversion to Christianity would decorate trees with lighted candles to symbolically represent their conversion from darkness to light. At this festive time of year, illuminated Christmas trees are often the central feature of household decorations. More recently people have been decorating the exterior of their homes, and where they have trees, they have been festooning them with colourful lights. Where I live, there has been an increasing trend over the years for these decorations. They certainly brighten up the neighbourhood when the hours of darkness far outnumber the hours of daylight.
As I take a stroll after my evening meal, I’m always cheered by the sight of these illuminations, not because of their subject matter: snowmen, stars, bells, Father Christmases and the like, but because I see beyond them to the Light of the World - He who brings hope and life to those who would believe and trust in Him.
Text for the Day
John 1:4, 5 ‘In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.’
Advent – Christian Festival
Chronology of Jesus
Second Coming of Christ
Yachtsman’s Christmas Tree
Sunrise and Sunset – London