The advent period is marked by Christians across the world as the countdown to Christmas begins. But what does advent mean and what do the candles we light represent? Turning Point, SAT-7 TÜRK’s youth program, addresses such questions by looking at the source of hope, joy, peace, and love.

In Turkey, there is widespread confusion about the meaning of Christmas. In fact, many believe that Christmas and New Years are the same thing. Despite the confusion, there is a lot of curiosity about Christmas. Through programs like Turning Point, SAT-7 TÜRK plays a vital role in celebrating Christmas with Christians in Turkey, as well as clarifying the meaning of Christmas and its traditions to its viewers.

“Advent is a period of waiting, of expectation” explains Uygar, one of the four presenters of the youth talk show, Turning Point. Indicating the candles on the table, he explains; “the four candles surrounding the big one in the middle represent four different themes, hope, joy, peace, and love. The fifth candle in the middle represents the birth of Christ, which we will light on the 24th of December”.

In recent news in Turkey, the murder/suicides of three families due to economic problems shocked the Turkish nation. These tragedies have highlighted and reflect the hopelessness many people currently feel in Turkey. “In 2017 and in 2019, two surveys were conducted across 16 countries, including Turkey”, explains Annamaria, one of the presenters. “The results of the 2019 survey showed that young people have less hope, especially about the future”.

According to official statistics, 3,161 people ended their lives in 2018.

Speaking into this context, and addressing the first advent theme of hope, the four presenters, Uygar, Timotheus, Gizem, and Annamaria, were able to share God’s message of hope with their viewers. “God has become hope to us. Jesus’ birth, His death and His resurrection are the source of our hope” explains Timotheos during the live program.

“Our greatest hope is to return to Jesus Christ. During Noel, we celebrate Jesus’ first coming, but even as we celebrate this, we hopefully await His second coming. For us Christians our biggest hope is to say ‘Maranatha’ – Come Lord Jesus” adds Annamaria.

While discussing hopes people have for the future, such as a good education, a good job, a home and a family, Gizem also challenges viewers with the question “while we hope to be happy, what are we relying on? Are we relying on worldly things such as money, or do we have a spiritual reliance on God?”.

One viewer commented, “Even when our hope is diminished, it is still very important to continue in our faith with the power of God’s Word. In this way, both our hope increases, and we become more disciplined”.

Through the next three episodes of Turning Point, the program will continue to explore the themes of joy, peace, and love, in the lead up to celebrating the Birth of Christ.

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