Some of you may already know that Advent is one of my most favorite times of the year. I love the lights and the decorations and the setting up of my crèche collection from around the world. I love the baking and the sharing of my favorite Christmas cookies. I love the four weeks of Advent as a time of preparation, a time of expectant waiting, a time of holding each day as a special gift - enhanced since I was a child by the daily opening of Advent calendars- both paper and now even, electronic... I love the reading of scripture and reflections about the old old story of promise, of God breaking into human history, of a God-child born among us... I love the weekly lighting of Advent candles and the reminders with each Sunday that we draw closer and closer to the birth of the Christ-child again into our hearts and lives each year.
This last Sunday at worship in my mother's hometown of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, I had the joy of sitting with my mother and daughter in worship and watching as one of the church families lighted the candle of Hope as we sang these words together: "Come, surely, Lord Jesus, as dawn follows night, our hearts long to greet you, as roses, the light. Salvation, draw near us, our vision engage, one candle is lit for the hope of the age." (Cradle song - words by Mary Anne Parrott).
There are many reasons to pray for hope at this season... As people of faith there is much that challenges our yearning for hope during this particular Advent... I valued the invitation from the pastor this past Sunday to find some evidence of hope in each day this week... She invited us to use our cell phones or cameras to record a daily reminder of hope for ourselves or perhaps even to share with others...
This prayer by Paula Meador Testerman invites us to offer up our very lives as offerings at this season:"O Glorious God, to you we bring praise, treasures, lives as offerings; Spirit of hope, within us dwell; Come, Jesus, our Emmanuel." Amen.
Advent blessings to each of you,
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