Just as the Christ candle in the advent wreath signifies the light of God coming into the world through his son Jesus, so too does His light shine to reveal understanding when we stand aside and allow the Holy Spirit to teach.
Since her inception, the church has been telling time in her own unique way. The liturgical calendar moves in and out of the world around us creating an atmosphere of 'holy days' or holidays. It grounds us in God’s story and it is the lens through which we read and interpret the history of the world. In particular, the church's way of telling time begins with Advent, a period of longing, anticipation, and hope. It is a time that we recall the prophets' patience for the long-awaited King. It is the recovery of how to live in a world of impatience as a patient people awaiting the second adventus. But just how do we do this in the midst of all the hustle and bustle and despair?
We create an atmosphere that reflects the lighted candles of the advent wreath: hope, peace, love and joy. We slowly read the scriptures on which to meditate these godly virtues. We read noble stories from Dickens and sing "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". We spend balanced time with loved ones and serve those in need. We feast on such things and bear witness to how our atmosphere has formed us: by how we live out our lives with the same hope, peace, love and joy. "Mommy, why do we light these candles anyway?" We light them for the atmosphere of advent.