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The Reformed perspective on the Christ Candle (in a nutshell)

The Reformed perspective on the Christ Candle (in a nutshell)

It occurred to me as i was talking with some of the newer attendees of our church this weekend, that the concept of Advent is not something naturally familiar to believers. We were lighting the candles at the start of our service and as this couple and their kids walked in the door they remarked that they had no idea what was happening. I checked in with them following the service and came to this conclusion, Advent is a lost beauty of the holiday season. So in the spirit of the fact that this is the last day of Advent, i thought I’d talk about the last candle of the season, the Christ Candle.

The Christ candle, also known as the Jesus Candle, is the final candle of the Advent wreath, a circular garland of evergreen branches representing the passage of time. The Advent wreath is traditionally used in many Christian households to mark the four weeks leading up to Christmas, with each of the four candles representing one of the four weeks.

From a reformed perspective, the Christ candle is significant because it represents the culmination of the Advent season, which is a time of preparation and anticipation for the birth of Jesus Christ. As the final candle of the Advent wreath, the Christ candle symbolizes the end of the waiting and the arrival of the long-awaited savior.

The Christ candle is often placed in the center of the Advent wreath, representing the central role that Jesus plays in the Christian faith. In some traditions, the Christ candle is white or gold, symbolizing the purity and divinity of Jesus. In other traditions, the Christ candle is purple, representing the royalty and majesty of Christ as the King of Kings.

The lighting of the Christ candle is typically accompanied by prayers and hymns that focus on the coming of Jesus and the hope that he brings. For many Christians, the Christ candle is a reminder of the love and grace of God, who sent his son to redeem the world and bring salvation to humanity.

This, the final candle of Advent is also a reminder of the importance of the incarnation, the belief that God became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. This belief is central to reformed theology, which emphasizes the unity of God’s divine and human natures in the person of Jesus. It is not just a candle, just Christ is not just a part of our live, but the central part.

As we light the Christ candle at the end of the Advent season, we are reminded of the incredible love and grace of God, who chose to become one of us in order to bring salvation and redemption to the world. Whether you are a reformed Christian or from another tradition of the Christian faith, the Christ candle is a powerful symbol of hope, love, and the transformative power of the gospel.

Adam Sculnick

Sinner | saint | Servant


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