Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent has begun!

On 4 Sunday evenings after supper and a brief devotion one of the five candles is lit.
Each week the previous weeks' candle is also lit.
On Christmas morning after prayer and devotions,
the 5th and last one is lit and then the previous weeks candles are lit.

Each week has a focus. . .

The 1st Sunday Symbolizes HOPE with what is called the Prophet's Candle

The message is that Jesus is Coming

The 2nd Sunday Symbolizes FAITH with what is called the Bethlehem candle

The reminder is of Mary & Joseph's journey to Bethlehem

The 3rd Sunday Symbolizes JOY with what is called the Shepherd's Candle

It reminds of of the joy at the coming birth of Jesus

The 4th Sunday Symbolizes PEACE with what is called the Angel's Candle

The Message of the Angels: "Peace on Earth, God Will Toward Men"

The 5th Candle Symbolizes CHRIST with the Christ Candle

it is lit on Christmas Day for it signifies Christ has come and is coming.

He is the Light of the world.

With the enjoyment of Thanksgiving this past Thursday,

followed by the rowdy football craze and shopping frenzy,

(how very odd we thank God and then run out and go wild on other things),

Advent is an anchoring point in each week

as we prepare our hearts and homes for Christmas.

I pray that you will join me in considering the true meaning of Christmas,

not just on Sunday when you light an Advent candle,

but each day through the month of December and into January

when we celebrate Epiphany (the coming of the wise men).

As we raised our family we ate from our holiday china each night from Thanksgiving until Epiphany.

Eating from nicer plates causes us to reflect upon the difference of this season of celebration.

We gather and light the candles, have a daily devotion

(many reading plans are online or in your local Christian book store or public library).

Then we washed, dried, and re-set the china on the table together.

It brought the family together as we worked, studied, shopped, baked, and all that life included.

It was the anchor for our day and reminded us to invite God into each day and activity,

purchase, gift giving, songs sung, decorations placed, and events attended.

I need not 'do it all' to celebrate,

in fact too many things makes us fractured, unfocused, and weary.

Keep your Christmas season simple and enjoy it throughly for once!

Now our table is set for 2 as our children have homes of their own

but that is all the more reason to celebrate the season. . .

to see God's gift in Jesus,

to consider His gift as the motivation for the using of our gifts,

to give, to share, to care

rather than to do what is 'natural'

to pull in,

to hide,

to be sad and lonely,

to wait to be called,

to hope to be remembered.

Instead let us follow Christ

who came to serve not to be served. . .

and know His joy!

Truth For Life

And again, Isaiah says,

“The Root of Jesse will spring up,

one who will arise to rule over the nations;

the Gentiles will hope in him."

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,

so that you may overflow with hope by the


of the

Holy Spirit

Romans 15:12-13

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