This Sunday, December 1st, marks the beginning of Advent.
Some may be asking, "What is Advent"? Advent is a Latin word that means "coming". It is the time of year that the church sets aside to remember the coming of Christ - both his coming as a baby and also his future coming as a ruling and benevolent king.
Advent consists of four weeks - plus a final celebration on Christmas eve. Each of the weeks celebrates a different theme - Peace, Hope, Joy and Love - where we remind ourselves of the nature and plan of Jesus in the world. He is the one of peace, hope, joy and love and his kingdom is a kingdom of the same.
Advent usually involves an advent wreath with five candles. Four candles represent the four weeks of advent (the joy candle is often pink) and the fifth candle, which sits in the centre, is the Christ candle. This candle we light on Christ-mass.
Here's a simple plan for your time together:
December 1 - Peace
Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14; Matthew 24:36-44
December 8 - Hope
Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12
December 15 - Joy
Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalm 146:5-10 or Luke 1:46b-55; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11
December 22 - Love
Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25