Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Preparing for Christmas

We have several traditions in our family preparing for Christmas.  Last week I shared our Advent package tradition.  We also gather as a family every night (yes, even when my sweet husband is in the Urgent Care clinic) to do devotions.  We use a devotional that my family has used since 1982.  I particularly enjoy it because of all the memories associated with it.  Memories of frantic (in this time of intentional stillness) lighting of the candles as we get closer to Christmas.  (Can you light all four candles while saying these phrases without burning your fingers?)  It's hard to sing "O Come, O Come Immanuel" anymore without giggling as I remember my mother making faces at my father's seriousness.  How to keep it together when everyone starts on a different note?  (That was my family then, too!)  What a blessing it is to light those candles - Peace, Hope, Joy, Love - and say the words that I've spoken, almost since I could speak.  I'd like to share those phrases with you so you, too, can meditate on them as you light your candles this Advent.  I pray that your family would have memories of their own to cherish as these traditions are passed on.

"This candle represents 'peace.'  As the shepherds of old, we wait in expectation for the fulfillment of God's promise of peace on earth."

"This candle represents 'hope.'  As long ago people hoped for a Saviour, so we wait in hope for his return in glory."

"This candle represents 'joy.'  Because of Christ we can truly say, 'Joy to the world, the Lord is come!'"

"This candle represents 'love.'  For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son, that whosever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Happy Advent!

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