A Wreath of Hope

It is not quite December, but it is time to start peeking into all the decoration boxes.  The first thing we look for is the Advent wreath. We move aside the village houses, ornaments, and angel figurines, and finally uncover the wreath.  We place it prominently on the living room coffee table.  A reminder.  Christmas is near.

There is such beauty in the greenery and the intertwining of the boughs.  The pinecones and holly berries are interspersed with the tiny glass bulbs of silver and gold.  Next, the candles are placed one by one, 3 purple, 1 pink, and finally, the white pillar in the center.  The anticipation grows Sunday by Sunday as each candle is lit.  Tonight, the first candle, the candle of hope is lit. The light reflects off the silver and gold bulbs.  We watch.  We read.  We wait.

The December weeks pass. The frantic preparations of baking, shopping, readying for Christmas programs, and gift wrapping fill the weekends.  But when Sunday evening comes, we pause to reflect.  We light the next candle.  The light breaks through the busyness of the season.  The light beckons us to prepare our hearts for The Light.  Each candle is a reminder of the hope, peace, joy, and love that awaits.   We prepare.  We wait.  We hope.  We read:

Every year we light candles as we prepare for the coming of Christ.
More and more candles, more and more light,
as we watch and wait for Jesus, the Light of the World.
 
God of Promise, come into our darkness.
Renew your hope in us,
for you alone bring life out of death.

Receive God’s promise of hope from Psalm 33:
The eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.
 
We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.

A reading from Advent Wreath Readings: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love © 2013 by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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