One of the things that makes Renovaré such a unique ministry is that we recognize and seek to understand and benefit from all the different Christian traditions. Richard Foster and Dallas Willard have for years pointed out the purpose and uniqueness of each of the traditions in their writings and encouraged us to celebrate these differences. We’re reminded that “Love is the Manifestation” where streams/traditions/disciplines originate and converge in love. Advent itself is celebrated in many ways, each manifestation adding depth to the whole Christian experience.

Since we published our new Advent devotional, God with Us, we have seen a tremendous response from people telling us how blessed they are to have a tool to use to take them through the weeks leading up to Christmas. We have also heard from a number of people letting us know their tradition arranges the Advent candles in a different order than we prescribed.

We think these kinds of variations in the Advent tradition are wonderful — especially if they help people draw closer to God and help deepen their relationship with others.

We are celebrating Advent through the lighting of the various candles. How those candles are arranged are up to you. There are usually three candles that are purple or blue and one that is pink or rose. Some of you light a white Christ Candle on Christmas Eve (which is a part of our devotional this year). Some of you do not light the Christ Candle. The pink candle is often lit on the third Sunday of Advent. Different churches or traditions light the pink candle on different Sundays depending on the symbolism used. Churches that use a Service of the Nativity will often light the pink candle on the fourth Sunday of Advent. We’ve heard from some who lights the candle for Peace before the candle for Love. There are a number of variations.

Our message during this busy time of the year is to slow down, take some time, and use Advent as an opportunity to prepare your heart and mind for Christmas. Don’t get too caught up in the order of things. Arrange the candles in whatever way you feel is right, change the colors as you need, use your family or church history as your guide. Take the devotional guide and use the week that fits best with your own tradition, whether it’s the week designated in writing or not. Encourage people you know to join you in the process of celebrating Advent.

The most important thing you can do is to use Advent as an opportunity to quiet your life and focus on the coming of the God who chose to be with us. This is the first week of Advent — let’s celebrate his coming together!

Starting Soon: The 2018-19 Renovaré Book Club

How do we read for transformation, not just information? Choose books that stir the soul and have an enduring quality. Then read with God and others at an unhurried pace, attentive to what the Holy Spirit wants to teach. The Renovaré Book Club is designed for transformative reading. It runs October 2018—May 2019.

Learn more >