I suppose I should preface this post by saying I know a few folks from church stop by here on occasion and this is certainly not meant to offend anyone or be a complaint. Just a personal post.
I have a philosophical objection to Advent Wreaths. I don’t like them. I certainly have no objection to others participation in the whole advent wreath ceremony thingy, but it’s not for me. In fact, in my limited experience, it seems it has been more liberal . . . er. . . “mainline” churches that do the whole advent wreath thing because they are so wrapped up in the material expression of symbolism — it feels good and people get to play a part, so lets do this advent wreath and get people to light a candle every Sunday and pretend we’re Catholic-lite and read some cheesy line on the significance of the candle.
At least, that’s what it means to me. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the only two sacraments in Christendom (some denominations may vary). Yet, some people view this wreath silliness as something you *have* to do. As Baptism, at least as my old baptist preacher would say, is the outward expression of inward belief, Advent has somehow become an outward expression of . . . something?!
I don’t know. I just don’t like it. People get too wrapped up in this “we have to do the advent wreath” thing and they lose sight of the larger picture. I guess this also goes to my philosophical objection to singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus.
Yeah, Happy Birthday Jesus. Guess what we got you? A cross, some nails, and a few hours of sadistic flogging!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about celebrating Christmas. But it’s a different celebration for me than a “rah-rah” Happy Birthday, let’s light the stupid candle celebration.
To me it is more a “for God so loved the world, he sent [sacrificed] his only begotten Son” kind of celebration. And lighting a candle and reading a cheesy statement and breaking it up over multiple weeks just takes away from that, in my opinion. It puts the emphasis on a weekly symbolic
event act effected by one person or family each week and the act itself is given some sort of great weight. The great weight, I think, should be in the message that Sunday of what it meant for our Lord to love us so much that he gave up his life for us.
I can tell I’ve failed to fully convey why it is exactly that I don’t care for this little weekly ceremony. But, I think I can safely say I have conveyed that it is not for me. And yes, I’m willing to admit I’m a product of my stern Baptist upbringing.