The first Sunday of Advent in 2021 will be Sunday, November 28th. After a tumultuous year, there is comfort to be found when we pause to read, pray, and reflect over the course of the Advent season in which believers eagerly anticipate the celebration of Christ’s birth.
The first Sunday of Advent gives us the opportunity to center our thoughts on hope.
It’s a beautiful chance to remember the hope God offers to our lost and dying world, and that He’s given us through Jesus.
Galatians 4:4-8 says:
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Paul, the writer of Galatians, articulates so perfectly the great hope we celebrate at Christmas! Without God’s intervention, we were all slaves…bound up by our sin nature and hopelessly headed to the grave. Because of God’s great love for us, He came down and rescued humanity by sending his Son as a sacrifice for our sin—so we could be free from the chains of sin and become fully part of God’s glorious eternal family.
On this first Sunday of Advent, as we prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus’ arrival as a gift to all humanity; let’s stir up in our hearts and homes a sense of anticipation. Over this Advent, we pray that hope would rise up in our spirits in a tangible and life-giving way.
First Sunday of Advent Symbolism and Wreath Candle
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “coming.” Advent in the 4th and 5th centuries was a time of preparation for the baptism of new Christians. Christians would spend 40 days in prayer and fasting to prepare for the celebration that accompanied the baptism of new believers.
Over time, advent was connected to the coming of Christ. Originally Christians used this term to reference Christ’s second coming, but by the Middle Ages, Advent was connected to Christ’s first coming that we celebrate at Christmas.
Today, we celebrate Advent over the four weeks leading up to Christmas each year. This year we begin advent on November 29th and end this season of prayerful anticipation on December 24th.
Advent season is an invitation to set your mind off of the stresses of the year. We can take our focus off of the crazy hustle that can be associated with the Christmas season that often threatens to produce more hassle than delight. Advent is a chance to focus our thoughts on the gift God has given us in his son Jesus who stepped down from Heaven and took the form of a man so that we might believe.
The tradition for the first Sunday of Advent includes lighting the candle of hope.
This candle of hope symbolizes promises delivered through the prophets from God as well as the hope we have in Christ. God crafted a great rescue plan that he lays out in Scripture. This plan foretells years in advance the arrival of Christ. The Bible also gives us a glimpse of the future and promises that God will come down to create a new heaven and Earth.
This first Sunday of Advent we read, pray, and reflect on the hope God’s plan gives us (foretold by the prophets and fulfilled by the life and death of Christ), and we meditate on the promise of Christ’s coming glory-filled return.