ADVENT   Resources

November 29 - December 25, 2020

As you prepare your hearts and homes for the coming of the Christ child, we hope this page will be a resource for you to share in the traditions of Advent together.   You may wish to read about the traditional meanings and scriptures associated with each decoration, or you may choose to gather around your own advent wreath each week to read a devotional and light another candle.   We would love to know how you are celebrating and encourage you to call or email the office and share your traditions with us!
 However you  see fit, may this Advent season be one where we all wait expectantly for Jesus. 

About Advent

Advent is one of the holiest and most meaningful seasons of the church year. Advent means “arrival” and it is a time of waiting. We wait for the celebration of the Christ child and for his second coming. The Advent Wreath dates back over 400 years as a symbol of preparation for the infant Jesus, the “light of the world”, the “author and perfecter of our faith”, Emmanuel, “God with us.”
The Advent Wreath is a symbol of our faith as we journey through the weeks leading up to Christmas. There are four candles that represent different aspects of our waiting: Hope (Purple), Peace (Purple), Joy (Pink) & Love (Purple). As the weeks progress you will light more and more candles until we arrive at Christmas and light the Christ Candle (White).
Our prayer is that this family wreath will be a family tradition and a family treasure.
We suggest that you grab your Bible and set aside a special time each week where you gather around this wreath, read the scripture, devotion, prayer, and then light the candles.

We want this to be a resource for you to use as it best fits your family. You may alternate reading or choose one specific person to read. We have chosen songs to go with each reading. You may choose to read the words, sing, or listen to a version on the internet. Choose whatever works best for your family.

Advent is a time of preparation and going through this journey of lighting candles, hearing songs and reading scripture is a wonderful way to prepare our hearts for Christ to be born again in us. Enjoy this season of waiting expectantly knowing that we worship a God full of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.

Advent 
Wreath

Each Sunday of Advent, we light a different Candle around the wreath. Click on the candles below to read a special devotional written by one of our ministers.  

Why We Decorate

Decorations play a large part in many homes during the Advent season but many may not know why each are so important in the Christian faith.  Enjoy this sampling of of both scripture and meaning for your favorite decorations.
Candles & Light

John 1:1-5, 9-14

 We light candles in the sanctuary because they have significant meaning for us as we celebrate Christmas.  We are reminded that Jesus Christ said, "I am the Light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Our candles are white.  They are a reminder of the completely pure and entirely unselfish love of God, who gave His only Son for our salvation.  The lights remind us of God and his unlimited love -- that He sent Jesus to light our paths so that we might see how to live life abundantly, with hope and joy, with peace and love.

Poinsettias

Isaiah 40:1-5

Poinsettias are the traditional plant used to decorate homes and churches during Christmas.  The bright, blood-red poinsettia became the most popular of all Christmas flowers.  Its tropical red leaves are not blossoms--the flowers are small yellow clusters at the center.        
Dr. Joel Poinsett, of Mexico, discovered the poinsettia in 1828.
A Mexican legend says that when blood fell on the earth from the broken heart of a young girl, a poinsettia grew from each drop.  We can be reminded of the blood the Christmas infant came to shed for us.  The plant’s star-shaped formation of red leaves reminds us of the star which came to shine over Bethlehem.
Evergreen Pine and Fir

Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 ;   40:1-5

 Because the needles of the pine and fir trees do not die each season like the leaves of most trees, the ancients saw them as symbols of things that last forever.  In the scripture passage just read, the prophet Isaiah tells us that there will be no end to the reign of the Messiah, and so we hang wreaths of evergreens shaped in circles, having no ends, to signify the eternal kingdom of Jesus, the Christ.  They remind us of the life that was and is evergreen, ever alive.  The evergreen branches symbolize the promise of eternal life through our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.

Holly

Isaiah 53:1-6

 Tradition holds that this passage in Isaiah describes the sufferings of Jesus, who saved us from our sins by his death on the cross, and by his being raised from the dead.  In ancient times, the holly was considered the symbol of Christ's passion: its prickly leaves suggested the crown of thorns, its red berries the blood of the Savior, and its bitter bark the drink offered to Jesus on the cross.  As we lay a branch of holly on the altar, let us rejoice in the coming of Jesus, our Savior, ever mindful of the great price He paid for our salvation.

 
Cedar Tree

Daniel 4:10-12 ;  Jeremiah 23:5-6

 In ancient times, the cedar was revered as the tree of royalty.  It signified immortality and was used for purification.  We place this cedar branch on the altar as a symbol of Christ, Who reigns as King forever, and Whose coming, in justice and righteousness, will purify us.  The tradition of "dressing" a tree for Christmas was introduced to Americans by German settlers and mercenaries in the early 1700’s, but was not accepted until more than a century later.  In 1845, Pennsylvania church publications began to reproduce Carl August Schwerdgeburth’s portrayal of Martin Luther's family around a lighted Christmas tree.  The work inspired pamphlets about the Christmas tree as a religious symbol in American homes.  Beginning with trees in homes here and there, the Christmas tree gained widespread popularity.  Now, people of all denominations celebrate the Christmas season with a tree.
 

Hand-Made Chrismons 

Made in 2000 by ladies of Angier Baptist Church, these beautiful ornaments are displayed on our tree each year.  These were gently strung to create symbols that represent our faith and the major events within the life of the Christian church.  Each Chrismon in the Christian Year Series is to remind us of a specific season along our journey.  Each Chrismon contains only one or two elements that are easy to understand even when multiple elements combine.  Not everyone receives the same message from even simple Chrismons, nor should they!  Some symbols can have a number of meanings and individuals varied experiences may bring differing insights.  Each year these symbols remind us of the love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Father's Hand

Psalm 98:1
This symbol of the Father's hand from a cloud is frequently used in both the old and new testaments.  The hand was almost the only symbol that designated the father during Christianity's first thousand years.

Lamb of God

Isaiah 53:7; Revelation 5:6
The Son, Agnus Dei or Lamb of God symbol was derived from prophesy.  The Lamb is one of the most enduring figure for our Lord.  Reference is to the sacrificial lamb of Israel with a banner of victory to represent the risen Christ.

Decending Done

Matthew 3:16
This ancient symbol of Scriptural origin has been widely used since the days of the first Christians to represent the Holy Spirit.

Trinity

2 Corinthians 13:14
Legend says that Patrick used a shamrock to help explain the mystery of One God in Three Persons.  Another symbol for the Holy trinity is the triangle entwined with a circle of Glory to suggest the eternal nature of the triune.

A Pelican in her Piety

Psalm 102:6; Matthew 26:26
This symbol represents Lent and reminds us of the atonement; the sacrifice of Christ for our sins and of the Lord's Supper as the Pelicans blood feeds her young.

Chariot of Fire

2 Kings 2:11; Acts 1:9-11
This symbol represents the ascension.  We are reminded that our Lord's ascension parallels Elijah's and is represented through the fiery chariot.

Pheonix Rising

1 Corinthians 15:3-4
This symbol represents the resurrection.  From Egyptian fables, the phoenix was a miraculous bird that destroyed itself in flames only to rise again to new life.  A symbol of immortality.

Gladiolus

John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 4:12
This symbol represents the incarnation when the "word became flesh."  It is the living sword, the living word.

Alpha

Revelation 1:8
The Alpha and Omega symbolize the first and last letters of the Greek Alphabet.

Book

Isaiah 40:8
The book on a seven pointed star reminds us of the written word.  The star refers to t he Gifts of the Holy Spirit who inspires the Scriptures.

Icthus

Matthew  4:19; 27:54
This fish symbol contains Greek letters as an acronym translating into "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior."

Advent Scroll

Isaiah 9:6; Luke 1:79
A scroll with prophesy represents the coming of the Messiah who shall bring peace.

Cross of Constantine

2 Timothy 6:15
This cross contains a Chi Rho and is often found with the x turned to form a cross signifying that Christ is the victorious King.

Pentecost

Acts 2:1-4; Revelation 5:12
Pentecost is symbolized by a seven-tongued flame.  The Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost is remembered through the seven gifts of the Spirit.

Passion Cross

John 19
This symbol reminds us of the cross of Suffering.  The pointed ends reminds us of the points of the thorns, the nails, and the spear.

Shell on 8 pointed star

1 Peter 3:20-21
This chrismon reminds us of the Holy Baptism and regeneration.  Multi pointed starts connotate Heaven, God's element.

Epiphany

Matthew 2; Numbers 24:17; Revelation 22:16
The five pointed star recalls the manifestation to the wise men... 'A star out of Jacob." "I am a bright and morning star."  

Chalice on 6 pointed star

Isaiah 11:2
The chalice reminds us of the Lord's Supper while the star proclaims the ways in which God comes to us and denotes the attributes of the Messiah.

Crown

1 Timothy 6:15
The crown is the symbol that reminds us Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  We are reminded that we are His servants.

Becky's Angel

Psalm 34:7
This ornament was created in memory of Becky Blackburn who served as a prayer warrior for many at Angier Baptist Church.  Angels are traditionally seen as God's messenger to His people.