As Christians, Christmas is a very significant time of year. With Christmas comes preparation of presents, gatherings, parties and time to prepare ourselves for Christ’s birth. The season of preparation for Christmas is called Advent. Advent is a time for joy, a time for wonder, and a time for reflection. Advent is a time for preparation for the “coming” of the nativity. It allows us to pause and remember the true meaning of Christmas.
Advent begins four weeks before Christmas and is celebrated with many different traditions. For many of us it is as simple as a cute Advent calendar filled with chocolate as each day is revealed. For others, it is a time for prayer and reflection as we await the coming of Christ through Bible readings and the lighting of candles.
The Advent wreath is a tradition held by many families to celebrate this special time. You will see an Advent wreath in many churches, including St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Within the Advent wreath comes 5 candles. Three candles are purple or blue and represent hope, peace, and love. One candle is pink and represents joy. The fifth and center candle is the Christ candle which is white and is always lit on Christmas.
At St. Paul’s, we encourage our students to become engaged in all areas of learning. Such is true with Advent. Not only do students tell the Christmas story through our Advent programs, but engage these stories in their daily activities.
Our middle school students showed how they, as students and Christians, become engaged during this season. During their Advent program they explained the many different service projects that students are involved in on our campus. From packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child, the 6th grade walk in LA to supply the homeless with daily necessities, to challenging our families to take on and provide for families for our Giving Tree Ministry here during this Advent Season. For the record… Each family was adopted. Way to go St. Paul’s!
As part of engaging in Advent on campus, our 4th graders participate in a Bible reading each day while reflecting on Advent. Instead of a gift exchange for their class, they bring in cans to supply our food pantry at church.
Advent also brings a way for students to share the good news with a relative or friend that has been invited to one of the many Advent programs. Engaging in these programs not only is something that we do, it’s who we are as Christians. You can be sure that when the music has stopped for the program, the students will continue to sing their love for Jesus long after the Advent season has passed.
Around campus you will see the students’ Advent decorations. The students excitedly share their love for Jesus through projects that create a joyful and festive environment on campus.
There are several opportunities here at St. Paul’s to enjoy Advent. Our day school joins together to spread the good news of Jesus through our Advent programs. Our TK/K and 1st graders will be sharing their Advent program on Saturday December 14th @3pm. The following week there is still time to enjoy our 3rd and 5th graders with the sharing of their story of Advent at 6:30pm in the Event Center.
As we await the coming of our Savior’s birth, St. Paul’s wishes each of you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and joyful Advent season.