Opinion | Discipleship

Why Advent Is More Jewish Than You Think

As a Messianic Jew, I see the rich origins of this liturgical season.
Why Advent Is More Jewish Than You Think
Image: tomertu / Shutterstock

One memorable Advent, I wondered if I was going to set our kitchen table on fire when I started lighting all the candles amassed on its surface. There were four thick pastel candles on our Advent wreath and six slender primary-colored ones in our nearly-full Chanukah candelabrum, properly known as a chanukiah. (A full chanukiah is composed of nine candles, with four candles on each side of a raised center candle). My husband and I are both Jewish followers of Jesus and wanted our children to connect with the hope and history embedded in both observances. It seemed like a good idea until I realized that our kitchen table was starting to look like a campfire without the s’mores.

As a Jew, I’d grown up celebrating Hanukkah. My parents emphasized that Christmas and Easter were Gentile holidays, and as a result, I never paid much attention to them. So how did a nice, Hanukkah-celebrating Jewish girl like me come to embrace Advent?

When I first came to faith in Jesus in the mid-1970s, ...

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