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The candles of Advent
December 14, 2009
by Pastor G. Koivukangas, Cokato Laestadian Lutheran Church

We are in the midst of the time of Advent. This period of time leads our minds to prepare and to wait for the coming of Christmas. Advent candles are burning, and as each week follows, another candle is lit.

On the fourth Advent Sunday, four candles burn brightly. With flickering flame, they remind us that Jesus is the light of Christmas – the light of our life. The children’s eyes shine brightly, for Christmas is nigh.

Scripture tells us of the Advent candles of faith lit by God. He has kindled them to burn in the souls of His own.

The candle of light shone brightly in the life of Abel, a child of God at the beginning of the world. Abel gave a pleasing sacrifice unto God. God accepted it, as the smoke rose to heaven.

One could say the second Advent candle may have been lit in Noah’s time. The people did not have time for God. God said to Noah, “I have seen that you are faithful, you are righteous before me.”

Noah and his family were truly blessed that the candle of faith burned in their hearts. The people of the world perished, but Noah and his family received the glory of heaven.

The third Advent candle began the burn the brightest of all in Bethlehem – in the dark of night, in a lowly stable, where the Christ Child was born. Dear neighbor, He was born for you and me.

The promise of God had been fulfilled. It is why we have Advent and Christmas. Our Savior has come unto us and all mankind. He merited salvation for us.

When will the fourth Advent candle begin to burn? God will light it in the midst of this sinful and ungodly world. When this happens, we will know eternal Christmas is at hand.

It will be the time of the second coming of our Lord Jesus. He will appear in glory with His holy angels. Then, the time of waiting is over.

Dear friend, the Lord of Advent is still calling people to follow Him. His loving voice is yet heard in His kingdom, preaching the precious gospel message. You, also, can own this message into your heart.

The words of the songwriter certainly cause us to pause:

“If only in the manger of my affected heart,

By grace, this Child forever would dwell and ne’er depart.

Oh, little Child of Christmas, the greatest gift of love . . .

Oh guide my earthly pathway to heaven’s home above.”