Last year for the Christmas season, I tried my hand at blogging with the "Christmas Through My Eyes" blog. It got more positive feedback than I was anticipating, and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my favorite parts of the Christmas season with you all. This year, I'm going to switch things up a little bit. My Christmas blog's theme for 2018 is "The Season of Advent." As someone who is very spiritual, I find it important to delve deeper into this season, not only for the joy Christmas brings, but to use this season as a time of reflection on the year and what this last month can hold.
Today, December 2, 2018, is the first Sunday of Advent. For some people this means they can open a little door on an Advent Calendar and eat a small piece of (not so great) chocolate, for others this means lighting a purple candle on an Advent Wreath marking the first of the four Sundays of Advent. For me, Advent means both of those things and more. This last year I have delved much deeper into what my faith means to me, and how I choose to live my life based on my beliefs. I've worked at making it my own experience and fusing together what my faith has taught me over the years and also the morals I find important as a human being in 2018.
This first Sunday of Advent, we light the first purple candle on the Advent Wreath. As a child, growing up in Catholic school, this was always a fun activity for each Sunday of December, but I never fully paid attention to the significance of why this tradition existed and what it meant. The first purple candle is the Prophecy candle and signifies Hope. I've been researching how this time of preparation for the coming of Christ, my Savior, is related to the candles we light on the Advent Wreath, which has provided me with clarity and also reflection questions.
This first candle is meant to signify the Prophecy that God was sending the earth His one true Son to save all of us and that He is coming soon. The color purple is often associated with prayer and penance, which is perfectly fitting since Advent is a time of reflection and waiting. With waiting for Jesus' first coming, we are filled with Hope that the Prophecy will be fulfilled. Whether your spiritual beliefs are the same as mine or different, lighting this first Advent candle is a symbol of Hope that we are casting a light in the darkness of our lives. Whatever your beliefs, whatever you may be going through at this moment, there is a light in the darkness. For me, my light in the darkness is Jesus, who is also referred to as "The Light of the World." Whenever I am overwhelmed, struggling, in pain, stressed, angry, or upset, I turn to Him and His teachings to guide me away from negativity and self-doubt and lead me towards Hope.
This Advent season I encourage you all, whatever you celebrate or believe in, to use this month of December as a time of reflection. What did this last year offer you? Are you content with what the year has given you? What are some ways you can slow down, enjoy living in the moment, and be fully present? Reflect on what ways are you going to use the blessings and gifts you have been given to better your life, and the lives around you in the coming year. It's never too late to find your inner light or to help others see the light inside of them.