In Search Of Christmas

November 30, 2014
by Anne Russell

Matthew 3:1-3 – In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'" (NRSV)

I was looking for a Bible that I had bought from the Robert Simpson Company many, many years ago. Although I didn't find my Bible, which I had likely put in a secure place, in my search, I came upon a book with the title, In search of Christmas. I had never read this particular book until I salvaged it from a bookshelf in our basement.

As I glanced through it, it brought many things to mind, like all the things that people in today's world use, if they celebrate Christmas, not having any idea why, or what the things might mean. Let's follow the journey in search of Christmas using the Christmas tree, the gifts, and the candles.

The Christmas tree is an evergreen that never changes colour. It is a reminder of our God, Whose love for us in Christ is unchanging and everlasting.

As we gather together on Christmas Day around our Christmas tree, we open gifts, given in love. We give because lovingly God first gave salvation to us in Christ — a priceless gift too wonderful for words to describe.

Many people light candles to bring soft light into their homes. But in many Christian homes, purple or blue candles are lit one Sunday at a time during Advent to signify a spirit of self-examination and repentance. The custom has seen many adaptations, and here is one that you may not have heard of. The first candle symbolizes hope, with the prophet's candle reminding us that Jesus is coming. On the second Sunday, the Bethlehem candle is a symbol of faith and reminds us of Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem. A pink candle on the third Sunday signifies joy, with the shepherd's candle reminding us of the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Jesus. The fourth candle, the angels' candle, symbolizes peace, reminding us of the angels' message of peace on earth, goodwill toward men. A fifth, white candle is lit on Christmas Day, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the light of the world.

I pray that these thoughts will bring hope, faith, joy, and peace to those who may see in a new light the wondrous gift that God has given us in Christ. May we all approach this year's celebration in a new and different way as a result of our own personal search for Christmas.

Prayer: Most gracious heavenly Father, we come to You on this first day of Advent, praying with hope for those who do not know the true meaning of Christmas. We pray that they will find their way in Your true light. In the precious name of Jesus, our Redeemer and our only hope, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Anne Russell <anbrussell@rogers.com>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you for what we are celebrating.


    Thanks Anne for beginning the season with these important thoughts.


    Enjoyed your beautiful writing.
    (B.C.)


    What a beautiful Devotional for this first day of Advent. Thank you, Anne.
    Blessings.


    I’m so glad to have this information, Anne!
    Thank you for being willing to write God’s message today.


    Excellent devotional for the first Sunday in advent. Thanks for writing Anne. Hope to see more from you.
    Blessings.


    Hi Anne,
    I’m glad you found that book to inspire you to write the symbolisms of Christ that we often miss when we are out and about during this holiday season.
    May God bless you richly this Christmas.


    Thanks so very much for your truly inspiritional thoughts on this first day of Advent. I enjoyed reading it so much. Hopefully many others did too. A new way to view what this season should, and can be!
    Have a very Merry Xmas and a New Year!


    What a truly beautiful Advent devotion! Thank you so much for sharing it to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas in this hustle and bustle world of ours!
    May you and yours enjoy special days ahead in this waiting time of Advent as we approach the joyous celebration of Christ’s birth!
    Do continue to write.
    God bless!


    Anne: I thoroughly enjoyed the history with its explanations as the basis for this morning’s Devotion.
    For years, our congregation has begun the first Sunday in Advent with the same. As each candle was individually lit, week after week, the meaning was read aloud and some times by a child. The time you spent forming up this message was, and will be, appreciated.
    Thanking you and yours along with my trust that you and yours have very joyful Christmastime topped with Christ.


    Dear Ann,
    Thank you so much for another beautiful devotional. What a treasure you found in your basement.
    So many people are still searching for the true meaning of Christmas, it is my prayer too that they may find it.
    I hope that you will still find the Bible you were looking for. I believe that you do a lot of reading.
    I treasure your devotionals as well as Mary Daniels’ and Joel Jongkind. Yours are on the top of my list though.
    May our Heavenly Father continue to bless you in your writings of such beauties, and may people come to the Lord through them.


    I am personally so thankful for this devotional. It helps those of us who do not know much about advent so that we can have this Christmas tradition in our homes. What a great selection of devotionals to start the season. This devotional is a beautiful gift!!!


    Blessed Christmas to you!

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