Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Old Advent Wreath

It is time for Advent.

And, this year it is time for a new Advent Wreath for our family.

          Gathering around the Advent wreath each evening in those four weeks before Christmas is a long-standing tradition in our home. One of my favorite Advent devotion memories—and there are many—is the year my foster toddler, Michael, blew out the candles every time our twelve-year-old Melinda lit them.

But, time marches on, life brings change, and we need something new.

Advent is an exciting time of year. Especially for those of us who are followers of Jesus the Christ. Advent is a most precious, powerful, poignant, understated, and underrated time of year; a season overflowing with expectation, exhilaration, and anticipation.

Advent is a time to ponder.
A time to begin anew.
A time to worship.
A time to return to the animal stable, that dirty, smelly, cave where the King of kings became man and lived among us.

          We’ve used the same Advent wreath for about eighteen years. 

It was love-first-sight for me at some now forgotten garage sale when my life was in one of its disarrays. The dirty-white, rusty metal frame held a ray of hope for me. And maybe some magic.

          Sure enough, I transformed it into a thing of rustic, home-made beauty and with miscellaneous minor changes through the years, it has enjoyed the honor of being the first “decoration” set out each Christmas.    Sometimes I could find new pink and purple candles and sometimes we used “stumps” of last-year’s left-overs. Even during the years the wreath did not get new candles, or new evergreens, or even dusted, it glowed each night and encouraged us to make time each evening to remember the Reason and to hope and to rediscover our joy.

The basic metal wreath we've used for so many years is still okay, but this year it will stay on the closet shelf and be replaced with a completely different Advent Wreath.

The new wreath will be created new from old things.

My fancy-smancy on-line dictionary defines new as: previously unfamiliar.

Ah Ha !!!

Have you had one of those “ah ha” moments recently? This year’s Advent wreath was my AH HA !!!

Yes, many things will be different and new for us this Christmas. Yet, we are the same old souls.
As we light the candles in our repurposed Advent wreath we will give thanks that Jesus Christ IS the same yesterday, today, tomorrow.
He was the same for Moses, Abraham, and David as He is for me. He is the same for Sally, Carolyn, Pam, and for my daughter as He was for Job, John the Baptist, Paul, and the Wesley boys.
Advent is about expecting Jesus and welcoming Him and living in relationship with Him.
Advent is that happy, expectant, glorious time….. that leads to the Cross.
But, the good news is that Jesus the Christ goes before us, has our backs, and holds our hands all the way.

Check in to see how my new / old Advent wreath develops.

John 1:1-2, 14 MSG: The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one. The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.