We are excited about the worship setting that you will get to experience each Sunday as we anticipate the coming of Jesus. Here are some of the extra bits this Advent:
Each week the flame entering our sanctuary during the processional helps us to anticipate Jesus’ incarnation (God made flesh). We will hear “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” as we long for his coming to bring us hope, peace, joy, and love.
He is the incarnation, so we first light the candles at the altar with the crucifer (cross) facing the congregation to remind us that he “being found in human form…humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
The Advent Wreath Reflections:
In Jesus’ coming to earth as a man, we see that he is our hope, peace, joy, and love. Every year during Advent we have individuals or specific groups of people answer a question about how God has met them or how they desire to meet him. After they share, they light the candle for that week. These are the themes and questions they are using:
Week 1: He is our HOPE entering a broken world. How has hope entered your broken world?
Week 2: He is our PEACE holding all things together. How is God’s peace holding you or a part of your life together?
Week 3: He is our JOY manifesting himself in his servants. How is God bringing you joy?
Week 4: He is our LOVE, living among his people. How is God revealing that you are a loved person?
This year we have expanded the Advent wreath to essentially be our sanctuary with the candles spread across the front and window boxes lining the sides, and we will worship our God in the middle of the wreath – the anticipation of his arrival.
When you arrive, you will be given a response card, and we hope that you will take the time after the Advent wreath reflection is shared to write down your own reflection of how you have seen God show up in your life. If you write it twice on the card, you can rip off the bottom and drop it in the appropriate window box and keep the top as a reminder this Advent of the ways that God is making himself known to you. Put it in a prominent place as a reminder of God’s faithfulness.
The Candle Holders:
We used the Advent collects and the sermon series to drive the art of the Advent candle holders. Black wood with mirrors represent a world that does not reflect his light in the way that he intended.
The broken mirrors of week one show how limited and spars we are in reflecting his light, yet he is our hope. In week two, we see wire holding the mirror pieces to express how God holds all things together to better reflect him, giving us peace that ultimately he is in control. The rectangular mirrors of week three reflect the image of God more fully, and we are joyful to see him more clearly with the help of the prophets and other servants of God. In week four we most clearly see his love in the glory of his coming, his resurrection, and his restoration.
We hope this is a reflective Advent for you as you worship at Restoration. May you see more of him as you reflect on your own life, and may you reflect him more as you experience him as your hope, your peace, your joy, and your love.
A huge thank you to everyone who contributed in RestoArts Advent by sharing your ideas, constructing wooden boxes, breaking glass, lettering, etc. I am thankful for your creativity, courage, and servants hearts.