The CFE Blog

THE CFE BLOG
A place where families grow, live and walk by faith in JESUS!

The Candle of Love for Advent Week 4

 

This is the final week of Advent, churches will light two candles; the candle of LOVE and the CHRIST candle.

What Is the Candle of Love?

The love candle, otherwise known as the Angel candle, represents purity. We see the other candles representing a part of the Christmas story in addition to virtues.

Week One – The prophecies about the coming Messiah

Week Two – Bethlehem, Jesus’ birthplace

Week Three – The shepherds who came to see Jesus 

Week Four – The angels who proclaimed the good news of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds.

Love plays a vital role in the Christmas story. Because of Joseph’s love for Mary, he didn’t stone her when he found out she was pregnant with what he thought was a child out of wedlock with another man (Matthew 1:18-19). Mary has a natural motherly love for Jesus, and ultimately, we see God’s love for everyone by sending his son for us (John 3:16). Jesus focused on preaching love throughout his ministry. Two of his greatest commands involve love: Love God, love your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40). Love is the greatest of all the virtues on the Advent wreath and encompasses Jesus’ entire purpose for being on earth (1 Corinthians 13:13).

What Does the Bible Say about Love?

Not surprisingly, the Bible has a lot to say about love. Depending on your translation, the word appears 100-300 times throughout Scripture. It makes sense. God is love(1 John 4)

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 alone tallies off a number of characteristics of love: it’s patient, kind, it does not envy, etc. 

We cannot walk with Christ without it, and we cannot have the Christmas story without it. As Linus states in A Charlie Brown Christmas, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” 

What Is the Christ Candle?

In addition to the love candle, churches will light the white candle at the center of the wreath on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve.

The white tends to symbolize Christ’s purity, showing Christ’s blamelessness.  The Christ candle represents Christ and the role he plays in the Christmas story. Jesus brought light into the world through his arrival on earth as a baby.

Why Does This Matter?

We cannot be Christians without Christ and without love. Jesus is the reason for the season. Otherwise, our works and our purpose on earth are for nothing. We need Christ and Christ’s love to share the Good News of salvation throughout the earth. Christ connects all the Advent candles. Through him, we can have hope, peace, joy, and love. Without him, why have any of those things? Christ steps down into darkness to light the world (John 8:12). Because of him, we can be a light unto others, showing them the true meaning of Christmas.

 

My Prayer…

Heavenly Father, the whole meaning of Christmas can be explained in one little four-letter word…LOVE. You sent your gift of pure love to us that first Christmas. Love descended from heaven to be born of a virgin. Love lay in the scratchy hay of a manger in a meager barn in Bethlehem. All of your love, God, was robed in the delicate skin of a baby and wrapped in swaddling clothes. This final week of Advent helps us to reflect on the magnitude of love that was made manifest in Jesus.

You are King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Messiah, and Ruler of All, yet you came not as a lion but as a lamb. You came as an innocent baby whose purpose was to walk this earth in complete love and then to sacrificially give your life as an atonement for the sins of your children. Emmanuel. God with us. Love in the form of a man.There is no greater gift than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends. You willingly gave the gift of your life because of your love. Your righteous blood covered our sin. You redeem and restore us when we confess you as Lord and Savior of our life. In that moment, you give us the gift of your love for all eternity. We receive grace upon grace and mercy upon mercy in that moment.The greatest gift of all came that first Christmas. It wasn’t wrapped in a beautiful package and set under a decorated tree. The greatest gift came wrapped in the flesh of baby Jesus and laid in the rough wood of a manger. Our perfect gift would later be rewrapped in the scars of our sin and nailed to the rugged wood of a cross on Calvary, all because of love.

Father, this final week of Advent, fill our hearts and minds with the significance of that truth. Thank you, Lord, for loving us enough to send Jesus. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen

 

Gospel Story of the Week

This Sunday’s Gospel: Luke 1:26–38 In Sunday’s Gospel, the angel Gabriel disturbs Mary with the words, “The Lord is with you. You have found favor with God.” Mary wonders what those words mean. She wonders, too, how she can become a mother since she is still a virgin. Mary’s yes to God is an act of faith. The Gospel is also an invitation to us all to say yes to God’s call and to show by our lives that, in Jesus, God becomes Emmanuel—God with us. When Gabriel announced to Mary that she would become the Mother of God, Mary said yes. Spend a few moments as a family asking God to give each member the courage to always say yes to God. Pray that the way you live shows that, in Jesus, God is always with us.

 

  Song of the Week…

Five-time GRAMMY nominated artist Matthew West released a new original holiday album this year. 

“I had the idea for “The Hope of Christmas” pretty early in 2020,” shares Matthew West on his new holiday track. “It’s felt like we could use a little Christmas right now! I find myself looking back at the Christmases of my youth, life seemed so much simpler then. There’s a line in the song that says, ‘these days peace on earth is hard to find, and I need you to remind me one more time.’ I guess that pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling this year, and I have a feeling I’m not the only one. I see a world reeling from the turmoil of a pandemic, political divides, and racial tension. I’ve always felt that my calling as a songwriter is to extract that hope even from situations where it seems all hope is lost. Writing this song helped me remember the reason why we can always have hope. Hope has a name. His name is Jesus, the Hope of Christmas.” 

This song brings tears to my eyes but I love it, hope you do too. Remember Jesus loves you!

https://youtu.be/K8Sh01stC3M


THE KID”S BULLETIN is here every week!

Click on the link below to view, print and complete the activity on this week’s gospel story.

https://thekidsbulletin.files.wordpress.com/2020/11/the-kids-bulletin-christmas-and-holy-family.pdf

Look For The Star

On December 21, 2020 @ 5:45 pm

the Christmas Star will appear. I couldn’t help but really take a deeper look at how amazing that this occurrence would be happening in the year 2020. In the year when Jesus was born, there was violence, chaos, political and social unrest. It was dark.

The Magi found him by way of the star, which was the “meeting” of 3 stars: Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. They followed the star until it rested on where he was and they began to worship him. In a time where it was dark, Light was brought into our world. Jesus stepped into the chaos and brought peace.

Fast forward to this year, 2020. It’s a time of violence, chaos, political and social unrest. It is dark. Winter Solstice, December 21st, being a time where the day is the shortest and night is the longest…it’s literally the “darkest day” and is the beginning of what most would say the cold, dark winter season.

But on the darkest day this year, Jupiter and Saturn meet, giving us the Christmas Star! How fitting…that in the moment of time during the Christmas season that we get to see this beautiful reminder…that even in the darkest of times…Light will, and has, stepped in. In our chaos He is there. In our darkest time, He is there. He brings Light, and makes all things new.

So as you look out on Dec 21st for the Christmas Star, may we be reminded of His power, and His Light that he brings for all mankind. He is perfect at stepping into chaos and bringing it into peace. 

Family Activities You Can Enjoy At Home!

Activities,  puzzles, and joke pages from Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. magazines will give your family some great ways to play and laugh together, and they are FREE to view, download, and print. Enjoy!

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/clubhouse-magazine/

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/clubhouse-jr-magazine

 

Do you know the story behind the Candy Cane? Find out why we have Candy Canes at Christmas. Do they have a special meaning? Candy Canes are a reminder of the real reason we celebrate Christmas. Click on the link and listen to the story.

https://youtu.be/OwGHh6UK2mY

Free Advent and Christmas Coloring

Coloring pages at your fingertips. Click on the link below and download free Advent and Christmas coloring pages to keep your little ones busy and creative during these colorful times…

https://www.googlece=univ&tbm=isch&q=free+advent+colouring+pages&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiEktqR37XtAhW7FVkFHffWCqgQjJkEegQIAxAB

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/fun-and-faith-activities-for-celebrating-christmas/

If you haven’t already, get your free Advent digital calendar delivered straight to your inbox….

https://www.focusonthefamily.ca/content/count-down-to-christmas-with-our-digital-advent-calendar

 

 

https://www.noelmontreal.ca/en-ca/home/

illuminated-christmas-village-is-coming-back-this-year

 

You can now visit ILLUMI by car!!! 

Reserve your visit online and let the LIGHTS do the rest! https://www.illumi.com/en/

 

 

Christmas shopping?Decorating ornaments? Looking for that special, personalized gift from the heart? Get inspired! Ceramic Cafe is the one stop shop for all your crafty holiday projects. The best part is that you can do it all from home as a family…great fun for the kids! Check out their website and start creating!  https://leccs.com/en/

Canada – Christianbook.com It’s never too early to start thinking about the holidays. Everything Christian, anytime, all the time! Save at The Family Christian Bookstore – Christianbook.com Fast Shipping. Low Prices. Excellent Value. Christmas Sale. See This Week’s Specials. Shop Promotions Now. Types: Bibles, Gifts, Homeschool, Church Supplies.

FYI … The Hallmark Channel

Looking for some family Christmas movies? The Hallmark channel has already begun their countdown to Christmas. Get the Hallmark Channel schedule, enter sweepstakes, celebrate Christmas, and find original Hallmark movies, series and so much more family stuff! https://www.hallmarkchannel.com/

Resources For Couples, Parents & Families

At Focus on the Family Canada, families are equipped with practical advice grounded in Biblical truths so they can thrive. When families are strong, they leave a valuable imprint on society for generations to come. Focus on the Family  is committed to helping Canadians nurture, protect and invest in their families so they can thrive, even in the messy brokenness of our world.

https://www.focusonthefamily.ca

Contemporary Christian Music radio stations are listener-supported ministries to be a Biblical, Christ-centered communications and educational ministry dedicated to reaching people and igniting transformation within by affirming faith, inspiring hope and equipping each person to live an intentional life in Christ.

The vision is to see individuals, families, churches and nations of the world transformed – as evidenced by individuals living an intentional life in Christ.

https://www.myflr.org

https://www.siriusxm.ca/channels/the-message

https://www.klove.com

 

At Intentional Living, they hold a passion to help people live intentionally in the five essential areas of life: Faith, Relationships, Health, Finances and Work. Ever since their establishment in 2007 they have been motivated by their God-given mission, vision and message.

https://www.theintentionallife.com

Pure Flix is an Evangelical Christian film production and distribution studio founded by David A. R. White and Russell Wolfe, inspired by Netflix. Pure Flix produces Christian films, including God’s Not Dead, Do You Believe?, Woodlawn, The Case for Christ, and Unplanned. Positive entertainment that changes lives, inspires hearts, and lifts the spirit. Premium streaming with no ads or interruptions.

https://www.pureflix.com

That’s it for this week!!! Stay tuned for the CFE Blog in the weekly church bulletin. Please  provide feedback, questions, suggestions or comments at  info@annunciationparish.com.

In faith,

Lynda M.

Recent Posts

Excellent Resource for Youth

 

 

From Ascension Presents:

Almost a year ago, Ascension was asked by the World Meeting of Families (WMOF) Planning Committee to host an entire section of the WMOF Youth Congress. It was to be called the Ascension Cafe.

The event was amazing! The Ascension Cafe, which featured some of the best Catholic speakers and presenters, was packed with teens from around the world. Realizing that most of you would not get to experience these presentations and musical performances live, we knew we had to capture it for you.

Beginning next Wednesday, you can get a front row seat to everything you–for FREE! Sign up now and once a week through October, we will send a handful of presentations right to your email. By the end of the month, you’ll have access to all twenty-six talks.

You’ll see Fr. Mike Schmitz, Megan Mastroianni, Chris Stefanick, and many more presenters tackling topics like discernment, smartphones, dating, friendship, family and faith.

Sign Up Now

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