What is Advent?

There’s a lot of talk around this time of year about something called “Advent”. Even here on Keys for Kids Radio, we’ve been talking about our Advent podcast for kids called “Countdown to Christmas with Zach”, which starts tomorrow by the way.

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But what is Advent?

Advent starts four Sundays before Christmas, and continues up until Christmas Day. Each week, many Christians celebrate one of four themes: hope, peace, joy, and love. 

You can count down the days until Christmas with an Advent calendar, where you open a little door and find a treat with a Christmas message inside.

There’s a lot more to Advent than just that, and you can discover more with this video:

Advent is a special time in the Christian calendar when we get ready for Christmas! It helps us remember the time before Jesus was born, when people eagerly waited for a special Savior that God promised would come.

In the Bible, in the book of Isaiah 9:6, it says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” This verse talks about the coming of Jesus, the special child who would bring hope and peace to the world.

Advent starts four Sundays before Christmas. During this time, we use an Advent wreath with candles—one candle for each week. The first candle reminds us of hope. In Romans 15:13, it says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

The second candle stands for peace. In John 14:27, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

The third candle represents joy. In Luke 2:10-11, an angel said to the shepherds, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

The fourth candle symbolizes love. First John 4:9-10 tells us about God's love: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

These candles help us remember these special things about Jesus and His coming. The colors of Advent—purple and sometimes pink—remind us to prepare our hearts and think about our actions, just as in Isaiah 40:3: “A voice of one calling: 'In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.'”

While the Bible doesn't say we are supposed to light candles at Christmas, it's a good way to help us remember why Jesus came to Earth to save us.

So, during Advent, we get our hearts ready to welcome Jesus, who brought love, hope, peace, and joy into the world. It's not just about gifts and decorations but about the incredible gift of Jesus and the love God has for each one of us!

Bible verses are referenced from New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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