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 An Advent Reflection

I recall the Sunday in the early 1970’s when an advent wreath first made an appearance in our church.  As a young man who attended church every week, I wondered what this interesting flat wreath with multicolored candles was and how would it be used during the upcoming Christmas season.  Why was there a pink candle with all those purple ones? Did they run out of purple candles?  What would they do with the large candle in the middle?  A brief explanation was provided on the first Sunday, a story and scripture was read, and then one candle was lit.  How did this wreath and candles relate to the stories of shepherds and angels?  It was a new concept for a young mind to understand.  However, every following Sunday there was an eager anticipation of what would happen next.  Which candle would they light this week and what story would be told?
 
Anticipation.  Isn’t that what advent is about?  Isn’t that what we experience in this season? 
 
We watch and wait for the fulfillment of the prophesies.  We read and review the stories of Christmas and the Christ’s birth.  We know he is coming and we even know the day, but we anticipate renewing these rituals every year.  Even in our secular life, we prepare for making Christmas the best it can be for our family.  We anticipate time off from our work to relax and enjoy time together with loved ones – time that will renew our strength and our joy in life.
 
 As we enter the 2015 advent season, I wish for all of us that our anticipation of Christmas will be new and fresh, and reflect a youthful optimism of the many blessings God provides.
 
Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace….
 
Chris Williams
Administration / Personnel