Preparing for Christmas and Advent

I’ve been listening to a podcast that Pastor Peter Frey has been doing. I normally don’t listen to podcasts, but his podcast is being published in the early mornings and I’m always doing my IV meds at the time he is publishing them. As most who come to my blog, you know that I have the chronic form of Guillian Barre Syndrome and I have Myasthenia Gravis. With peter Freys podcast, I’ve found peace since I’m usually the only one in my house awake.

I started listening to another channel that Pastor Peter Frey and his wife Mary Frey has. His wife Mary has Cystic Fibrosis. I started watching them about a year ago. Youtube suggested its channel when I was watching Claire Winelands channel. I don’t know why I have suggested their channels, but I’m guessing it was because I was looking for a trailer for Fault in our Stars. The story is about 2 people who have cystic fibrosis. I knew a movie was coming out that’s based on the book named, “Five Feet Apart”. The movie wasn’t out, but Claire’s channel popped up and so did “The Frey Life”. “Five Feet Apart” is available now and it has been one of my favorite movies. I’ve watched it a number of times. I ended up buying it on ROKU. If you haven’t watched it yet, you should. It’s such a good movie.

The Frey Life youTube Channel   and Claire Winelands YouTube Channel

podcastHis messages are pretty short which is great for me since I have a short attention span. They are normally under 10 minutes. His podcast has been based on Advent. Advent began on December 1st, 2019. Since listening to Peter Frey’s podcast, they reminded me of how much I miss having an Advent service at my church. We haven’t had it for the last few years. I’m not sure why it isn’t at church any longer. But, I’m grateful that Peter Frey is doing it. The name of the series which includes messages about Advent is “Living in Hope”.

What is Advent? 

Advent is a period of spiritual preparation in which many Christians make themselves ready for the coming, or birth of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Celebrating Advent typically involves a season of prayer, fasting, and repentance, followed by anticipation, hope, and joy. Advent is for the period of four Sundays/weeks before Christmas.

I’m sure most people have seen the Advent Calendars that are in stores now. When I worked in a grocery store, most of our customers didn’t actually understand what Advent is. Since I couldn’t talk about faith-based things. Most parents thought that it was just a fun way to count down the days until Christmas. We’ve had parents returning the calenders when they figured out the calenders actually meant.

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1st CANDLE – (purple or blue) THE PROPHECY CANDLE 

And again, Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.’  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Romans 15:12-13

2nd CANDLE – (purple candle) represents faith. It is called the “Bethlehem Candle” as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. God kept his promise of a Savior who would be born in Bethlehem

As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:  ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.  Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.  The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.  And all mankind will see God’s salvation.‘ ~ Luke 3:4-6

3rd CANDLE – (pink) THE SHEPHERD CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF JOY

On the third Sunday of Advent the pink, or rose-colored candle is lit. This pink candle is customarily called the “Shepherds Candle,” and it represents joy:

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:8–11, NIV)

4th CANDLE – (purple ) THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF LOVE

The fourth and last purple candle, often called the “Angels Candle,” represents peace and is lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent.

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:13–14, NIV)

5th CANDLE – (white) CHRIST CANDLE

The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins.  His birth was for his death, his death was for our birth!

The white candle is lit on Christmas Eve. This candle represents the life of Christ that has come into the world. The color white represents purity. Christ is the sinless, spotless, pure Savior. Those who receive Christ as Savior are washed of their sins and made whiter than snow:

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18, NIV)

An Advent Prayer for The Lord to Come

I’ve been looking for pictures for this blog post and I came across this Advent Prayer and it was perfect. This prayer is an awesome way to divert our attention when it comes to the true meaning of Christmas. It isn’t about the gifts under the tree. The poem that Renee Swoop wrote is a reminder that we need to open our hearts and focus on the birth of Christ.

The Christmas Prayer below was written by~Renee Swope, “The Manger of My Heart” from Proverbs 31 Ministries

This Advent, Lord, come to the manger of my heart.
Fill me with Your presence from the very start.
As I prepare for the holidays and gifts to be given,
Remind me of the gift You gave when You sent Your Son from Heaven.
The first Christmas gift, it was the greatest gift ever.
You came as a baby born in a manger.
Wrapped like the gifts I find under my tree,
Waiting to be opened, to reveal Your love to me.
Restore to me the wonder that came with Jesus’ birth,
When He left the riches of Heaven and wrapped Himself in rags of earth.
Immanuel, God with us, Your presence came that night.
And angels announced, “Into your darkness, God brings His Light.”
“Do not be afraid,” they said, to shepherds in the field.
Speak to my heart today, Lord, and help me to yield.
Make me like those shepherd boys, obedient to Your call.
Setting distractions and worries aside, to You I surrender them all.
Surround me with Your presence, Lord, I long to hear Your voice.
Clear my mind of countless concerns and all the holiday noise.
Slow me down this Christmas, let me not be in a rush.
In the midst of parties and planning, I want to feel Your hush.
This Christmas, Jesus, come to the manger of my heart.
Invade my soul like Bethlehem, bringing peace to every part.
Dwell within and around me, as I unwrap Your presence each day.
Keep me close to You, Lord. It’s in Your wonderful Name I pray.

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