The Meaning of “Advent”

The word “Advent”means “coming” or “arrival.”  The focus of the entire season is preparation to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ inn his first Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history.  It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God. That is a process in which we now participate, and the consummation of which we anticipate. Scripture reading for Advent will reflect this emphasis on the Second Advent, including themes of accountability for faithfulness at His coming, judgement on sin, and the hope of eternal life.

The Advent Wreath

The circle of the wreath reminds  of God Himself, His eternity and endless mercy, which has no beginning or end.  The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God, the hope of newness, of renewal, of eternal life. Candles symbolize the light of God coming into the world through the birth of His son.  The four outer candles represent the period of waiting during the four Sundays of Advent, which themselves symbolize the four centuries of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Christ.

The light of the candles itself becomes and important symbol of the season.  the light reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world that comes into the darkness of our lives to bring newness, life, and hope.  It also reminds us that we are called to be a light to the world as we reflect the light of God’s grace to others, (Isa 42:6).

Wave of Bells ring out across Canada to mark 100 years since WWI

The Royal Canadian Legion encouraged spiritual centres to take part in Bells of Peace at sunset.

When people in Europe learned of the Armistice on November 11, 1918, many celebrated by rushing to churches to ring bells that had been silenced during the war.

News of the end of the fighting in the First World War travelled through Europe, in part, by the eruption of church bells that people were ringing in celebration.

A century later, bells in communities across Canada will chime 100 times as the sun slips under the horizon on Sunday, November 11 to mark each year since the Armistice.

The Royal Canadian Legion and Veterans Affairs Canada have been encouraging legions, churches, spiritual centres, and community centres to take part in the initiative, called “Bells of Peace” . They asked Canadian to ring or play bells at five-second intervals starting at sunset on Sunday, November 11.

There are similar programs in the U.K., the US., and Australia.

Special thanks to John and Margaret Calvert for ringing our bell at Christ Church, Bloomfield.  Some people were in the parking lot listening to the ringing of the bell, and the sound carried to all the homes in the surrounding area.  What a wonderful way to end Armistice Day!