During this second week of Advent, we continue with the same theme from John the Baptist of "Prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. . ."
What does Advent mean exactly? Well, in general it means "coming." The Latin word adventus translates to the Greek work parousia. For Christians, this is significant in that it is a reminder of the Second Coming of Christ.
So, our theme for the second week continues with the somber and stern admonition to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Messiah. And we also continue our color of purple for repentence (as well as the recognition of Jesus' majesty) by lighting our second purple candle on the advent wreath. . .
So, about that wreath: It was actually brought to us by the Germans, probably Lutherans. It is round to represent the everlasting nature of God--there is no beginning and there is no ending; it is decorated with the four candles: three purples and one pink; and it is also decorated with greenery--evergreens, again representing the everlasting nature of God, ivy to show how we cling to him that saves us, and holly to remind us of the thorns Jesus wore in his crown at his crucifixion (we should always remember his death as we celebrate his birth for that is what makes us Christians!).
Another speculation on the lighting of the candles is that it is a tradtion brought forth from the Hebrew celebration of Hannukah as a nice reminder that while we are Christians, Jesus himself was not!
Another fun thing to do in the home during Advent, and one I used to do with my Sunday School kids, was to make a Jesse Tree. This is an excellent reminder of hope springing out of discouragement and desperation. . .You take a bare branch and seat it in a can or some other way to make it stand up right. Then you decorate cut outs of biblical images and symbols, such as the Chi Rho, A manager, a picture of Mary or Ruth (the mother of Jesus or the Grandmother of David), perhaps even a picture of the bible or Moses. . .Do a few each week until the tree is fully decorated at Christmas. I used to start with Old Testament images and process to New Testament as a further symbol of going from old to new. Talk about the images as you do them and then more as you hang them.
Aidan news: He continues with the cough and sinus infection. He seems better during the day, but cough is pretty bad at night. I'm hoping that this means it is really breaking up and beginning to go away. We're just about to start our third day on Augmentin, so hopefully today there will be some real improvement. He and I stayed home and out of the cold and wind yesterday. . .even skipping church! Boy, were we glad when Daddy came home from work. . .
And now, I leave you with a picture of my loving boy hugging Ellie: