The candles on the Advent Wreath demonstrate the contrast between darkness and light, which is an important biblical image. Jesus referred to himself as the “Light of the World” that dispels the darkness of sin: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life”

(John 8:12).

Human history spanned long ages shrouded in the darkness of sin before our prophesied Saviour would finally make his appearance to free us from its dominion. As the Messiah’s “Advent” (or “coming”) draws nearer another candle is lit, with each candle dispelling the darkness a little more. Thus, the Advent wreath helps us to spiritually contemplate the great drama of salvation history that surrounds the birth of God Incarnate, who comes to redeem the human race and make all things new (Rev. 21:5).

It also reminds us that, as Christians, we’re meant to shine the light of Christ in this world. As Jesus tells us,

“You are the light of the world … let your light shine

before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

(Matthew 5:14-16)

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