Sunday, November 15, 2020, 12:00 AM - Friday, December 25, 2020, 12:00 AM
Advent 2020 – Hark!
As we watch this long year come to a close, we arrive at the season of Advent. Since Advent is traditionally a time of expecting Christ to come to us in the darkness and bring hope to the world, we think a special focus on this season seems appropriate this year.
Just as many of us are trying to bring a little extra joy and hope into this year by decorating early, First United Methodist Church in Newton is observing a season of extended Advent. Prior to the 11th Century, Advent was longer, often beginning shortly after All Saints Day. We have chosen to revive this tradition. We will begin Advent on Sunday November 15th, and will light six candles on the Advent wreath, as we move closer to Christmas. We are reclaiming this ancient tradition, so that we can more fully remember the hope and joy of Christ’s presence in our lives both now and in the years to come.
Whether you are joining us in person or online, we encourage you to join us in this practice. Our readings for each week will focus on one of the most well-known Christmas hymns, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” This hymn is written by Charles Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, and celebrates the coming of Christ into the world and into our lives.
We encourage you to build your own Advent wreath at home. You can use the colors our church uses: two white, three blue, and one pink for the wreath, with a third white Christ candle in the middle. However, the colors matter less than the intent. Candles always represent light in the darkness, and whatever you can find in your home or store will be fine. To decorate your wreath use greenery (fresh or artificial) as well as any items that remind you of the hope that Christ offers. If you cannot get greenery, a green scarf or fabric would also work. It really is your choice how you do this, what matters is the spirit of hope you bring.
Jonathan LeMaster-Smith, PhD, Scholar in Residence