For many of the holy times we celebrate there are times beforehand that are for preparation, reflection, as well as for hope and healing. The season before Christmas is called Advent. This is a time during which Christians prepare to celebrate for the birth of Jesus.
During this time, many homes and most churches light the four candles (three pink, one purple) of an advent wreath. As each of the four weeks before Christmas begin, a new candle is lit. The light of the advent wreath reminds Christians that Jesus is the "Light of the World." Not coincidentally, the first candle lit symbolizes hope.
With Hope, we can move forward through dark times. With Hope, we have the strength to carry on, even in the face of great pain and suffering.
The following week, the candle that symbolizes Faith is lit. When we have Hope, our Faith in something bigger than ourselves grows.
Joy is the symbol of the third candle. Joy comes when we have Hope and …