Summary: The Advent wreath teaches us to bring the two advents (the one that has already happened 2,000 years ago) to the one that is coming quickly, Jesus’ second advent. This part is about Bethlehem; it's history, and how it plays an important role in Advent.
Advent 2011 1 of 5
November 27, 2011 Chester FBC, Chester, IL Dr. Mike Fogerson, Speaker
A The advent wreath is a teaching tool that has been traditionally apart of Catholic as well as Christian tradition for hundreds of years.
1 Advent means “coming or arriving or appearing.”
a Our Lord’s advent/coming to earth was a history-changing, life-changing event.
aa Had baby Jesus not been born in a manger in Bethlehem we would not have had the man Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.
bb He’s not done yet!
b Advent has historically tied the Jesus first coming (manger at Bethlehem) to the Jesus’ second coming.
aa The snatching away His bride 1 Thess. 4. 13-18 in the Rapture and the coming of Christ to earth to rule and reign in Rev. 1.7, 19:11-16.
bb The first advent of Jesus Christ set up the hope of believers in the promised second advent.
2 We find ourselves in the “between times.” He has come and is coming again, but what do we do until He gets here? BETWEEN TIMES!
a We long for the time when “ the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7 (quickview)  (NASB)
b We believers and the creation itself is waiting for Jesus to come again!
aa Rom. 8.18-25
cc We long for the day when the long-expected Jesus comes for His bride, brings peace and justice and righteousness to the world.
3 The Advent wreath teaches us to bring the two advents (the one that has already happened 2,000 years ago) to the one that is coming quickly, Jesus’ second advent.
a The basic advent wreath consists of a circle, usually surrounded by green evergreen with four candles (3 purple/1 red or pink) and white candle in the center.
aa The circle of the wreath reminds us of God Himself, His eternity/endless mercy which has not beginning & no end.
bb The green of the wreath speaks of the hope that we have in God (newness, renewal, revival, eternal life)
b The candles remind us that Christ, the light of the world, has come into our sin darkened world to bring newness, life, and hope.
aa The four outer candles represent the period of waiting between the prophet Malachi and the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
bb Three purple/or blue candles (symbolize royalty), used during the Easter (or lenten) season to symbolize the suffering of the holy week. (Matt.27.27-31.)
cc The red (or pink) candle is traditionally seen as the candle of rejoicing, Rose of Sharon, encouraged to wear red to church, we are going to use it as a candle to remember the blood atonement paid by Jesus at Calvary.
c Each Sunday we’ll light a new candle plus the candles we’ve lit in prior weeks.