As it stood on the verge of extinction, the Ottoman Empire engaged in mass deportations and massacres that culminated in the Armenian genocide. Things came to a head during the July 15, abortive coup when the regime ordered the imams to go to their mosques and urge the faithful to take to the streets to quash the attempted revolt. Witnesses said the attackers used hammers to break down the door of the church before Muslim neighbors drove them away. The reality is that Turkey is neither a democracy nor a secular republic.
For many Christians unfamiliar with the liturgical year, there may be some confusion surrounding the meaning of the Advent season. During this season of preparation, Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration; originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas.
By the 6th century, however, Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. At that time, the new Christian year begins with the twelve-day celebration of Christmastide, which lasts from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6.
The church is in a similar situation to Israel at the end of the Old Testament: Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel. While it is difficult to keep in mind in the midst of holiday celebrations, shopping, lights and decorations, and joyful carols, Advent is intended to be a season of fasting, much like Lent, and there are a variety of ways that this time of mourning works itself out in the season.
Our exile in the present makes us look forward to our future Exodus. And our own sinfulness and need for grace lead us to pray for the Holy Spirit to renew his work in conforming us into the image of Christ.
One catechism describes Advent spirituality beautifully: A Lutheran minister working at a mission for children created a wreath out of the wheel of a cart. He placed twenty small red candles and four large white candles inside the ring.
The red candles were lit on weekdays and the four white candles were lit on Sundays. Eventually, the Advent wreath was created out of evergreens, symbolizing everlasting life in the midst of winter and death. Advent candles are often nestled in the evergreen wreath. Additional decorations, like holly and berries, are sometimes added.
Pinecones can symbolize the new life that Jesus brings through His resurrection. Families begin lighting a candle on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and they light another candle each subsequent Sunday. The most common Advent candle tradition, however, involves four candles.
A new candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each candle represents something different, although traditions vary.
Often, the first, second, and fourth candles are purple; the third candle is rose-colored. Sometimes all the candles are red; in other traditions, all four candles are blue or white. It is only in the shadow of Advent that the miracle of Christmas can be fully understood and appreciated, and it is only in the light of Christmas that the Christian life makes any sense.
Both promise and in fact the same promise. If anywhere at all, then it is precisely in the light of the coming of Christ that faith has become Advent faith, the expectation of future revelation.
But faith knows for whom and for what it is waiting. It is fulfilled faith because it lays hold on the fulfilled promise. This is the essence of Advent. This article is part of our larger Christmas and Advent resource library centered around the events leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ.
We hope these articles help you understand the meaning and story behind important Christian holidays and dates and encourage you as you take time to reflect on all that God has done for us through his son Jesus Christ!The word Christmas comes from Cristes maesse, an early English phrase that means Mass of mtb15.com word Xmas is sometimes used instead of Christmas.
This tradition began in the early Christian church. Turkey Turns On Its Christians – Analysis Loving your nation is the real meaning of jihad. ; “Death and Destruction on Christmas: Muslim Persecution of Christians, December.
the true story of Christmas starts at the beginning of time Narrated by actor Dean jones and presenting the story accurately and in chronological order. Great for all ages.
Christmas, a Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus, has evolved into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian and pagan traditions into the festivities.
Christmas Overview Theme: His Nativity: Color: White or Gold , but many shoots had been taken from it and its progeny live in Glastonbury to this day, heralding Christmas with its blossoms.
The legend is that in the late 's a candy maker in Indiana wanted to express the holy meaning of Christmas through a symbol made of candy.
For many, Christmas is the time to think of Jesus Christ as a baby in a manger. While the birth of Christ is a special and miraculous event, it isn't the primary Grace-to-You.