Words from Pastor Thomas
November 22, 2022
Advent wreaths are a tradition used by Christians to mark the passage of the 4 weeks of Advent. Beginning this Sunday, November 27, and each Sunday until Christmas at the 9:30 a.m. worship service, different members will have readings and share their thoughts about the meaning of Christmas. Advent is the beginning of the Christian calendar year. It is a time to reflect upon the real meaning of Christmas (HINT: It’s not Santa Claus. Sorry!)
The earliest Advent wreaths were made in the Middle Ages; however, the first modern Advent wreath was made by Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808-1881). Wichern was a German theologian and educator who founded a home for poor children in the city of Hamburg. During the Advent season, the children would ask daily if Christmas had arrived. In 1839, he built a wooden ring (made out of an old cartwheel) with 198 small red and 56 big white candles. A small candle was lit successively every day of Advent. On Sundays and Saturdays, a large white candle was lit. This eventually led to the modern Advent wreath with its four candles.
About 1860, people started to entwine the wooden ring with evergreen cuttings. The Advent wreath became a German Christmas tradition at the beginning of the 20th century. It has now spread to other countries
There are several interpretations of the symbolism of the Advent wreath. The underlying symbolism is the accumulation of light as an expression of the growing anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ, who is seen as the light of the world in Christian faith. The circular wreath is meant to represent God’s eternity as it has no beginning or end. The evergreens are also a symbol of everlasting life.
We extend Christian sympathy to Teresa Norton upon the death of her sister in Minnesota. Heather Hauser’s mother was hospitalized this past weekend after a bad fall; she is also undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. If you would like to send her a card, her address is:
1606 Kexby Road
Henrico, VA 23228.
Jane and I have sold our home in Ivy and will be cleaning, repairing, painting, and moving to a new home in Waynesboro the next two weeks. I treasure your prayers in this momentous transition.