Gratitude Day 538
Fri., Nov. 26, 2020
John 1:5 – And the light shines on in the darkness, butthe darkness has not mastered it.
Tomorrow is the beginning of Advent: the season in the Christian calendar before Christmas where believers are encouraged to prepare their hearts and minds for the coming of the Christ child, the Son of God who is born into this world.
I love Advent. I love the traditions around preparing for Christmas: the stories, the prophecy’s, the traditions. As a pastor, I loved the first Sunday of Advent because this is the week, we’d usually celebrate a Hanging of the Greens service. During this special service, we’d look back at the various symbols used in preparation for Christmas and see why they are an important part of our tradition.
It’s 2020. I do not anticipate many Hanging of the Greens services this year as most folks are worshiping not inside a church building. But even if there isn’t a Hanging of the Greens service, you and your family can still celebrate some of the traditions in your own home.
May I suggest how to begin this? You’ll want to get this ready today for tomorrow.
Make an Advent Wreath for your family. Beginning tomorrow, you and your family will light an additional candle each Sunday through Christmas. Then, in Christmas Eve, light the fifth candle, the one in the center, known as the Christ candle.
It’s that easy. And yet, so significant.
If you don’t have an Advent Wreath, you can make one today. Seriously It’s really not that difficult.
Begin with getting together five candles. Typically, there are three purple candles, a pink candle and then one white candle. If you don’t have these exact colors, no problem! Use what you have! If you have a while candle, make this your candle for the center of your wreath.
These candles can be any size: from tapers to tea light and anything in between. They don’t even have to be the same size.
Next, get yourself a wreath. It doesn’t have to be big. I suggest something smaller than what you have on your front door. The size you’d put on a table. Again, use what you have and make it work! You might want a tray or plate or something to put everything on. Start assembling the wreath by putting the wreath on the tray or plate. Then, position four candles around the wreath. Complete your Advent Wreath by putting the white candle in the center.
It’s really that easy.
Then, begin tomorrow by lighting candle #1. This is often called the hope candle. We hope for something more than what we’ve already experienced. We know that Jesus is the hope for humanity because he came as God’s son. We have hope because Jesus is the light of the world and in him, he chases away all the darkness.
Then, the following Sunday, light two candles and so on, all the way to Christmas Eve when the white candle in the center is lit.
An Advent Wreath is a fun and meaningful little way you and your family CAN prepare for the coming of the Christ child. Take turns lighting the candles. Look up online for a little devotional you can use as you light the candles. It’s a way that you can honor Advent … while we worship at home.
Many years ago, my Mom purchased Advent Wreaths and gave them to my sisters and I for Christmas. It’s a special gift … and one I continue to have and use every Advent. Growing up, we always had a family Advent Wreath. We took turns lighting the candles and reading a little devotion with it. Having my own Advent Wreath is an important way I begin this next season.
I pray we can find meaningful ways to draw our hearts closer to God this Advent. Begin with an Advent Wreath; a simple little way to see Jesus as the light of the world this Advent.
For the meaning of the Advent Wreath, I am grateful.
We’re approaching the Advent season, Holy God. May we find fun and meaningful ways to truly experience your love this advent. Amen.
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