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Advent Candles Presentation

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And so the prophecy and the promise was given
and the waiting began.

We still wait and look forward to Christmas,
just as people did many years ago - with Advent Candles -
and we'll sing a carol about that in a moment.

Of course, children today have Advent Calendars,
but these are a modern invention -
so this Christmas in the church where John plays the organ
we'll been using the simple Advent Ring.
To make sure that the candles last out we'll use a different one tonight
- oh, dear this one is a straight line.....
But that's all right too for you see this little holder comes from Sweden
and is meant to shine out on a window sill
- not the first time that idea has been used,
for it links us with the Jewish festival of light - Hanukkah.
Hanukkah commemorates the re-purification of the temple in 165 BC
after the successful revolt of Judas Maccabeus against the Greeks.
Only one tiny jar of the sacred oil used in the sanctuary lamp could be found
- not nearly enough to last the eight days it would take to prepare more oil.
But the priests lit the lamp anyway and it burned on and on
- until the new oil was ready!
Nowadays the Jews have no temple and no sacred oil or lamp
so they use a candle stick with eight candles and one is lit every day
- a Jewish tradition that goes back to the 400 years of silence
at the end of the Old Testament

- the time that was the first Advent.

For Christians the waiting ended at that first Christmas.

Who will be drawn to the manger this year by the sight of
a simple little candlestick?

Copyright (c) Elizabeth Tolson 1998.

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