Thanksgiving is behind us. Over the rivers and through the woods, we’ve returned from Grandmother’s house to begin preparing for Christmas. Although you rarely hear the word, this season of preparation has a name: Advent. The word “Advent” comes from the Latin word Adventus – which means coming. It’s a time, not only for decorating and gift-buying, but for spiritual preparation. It can also be extremely stressful.
I heard about one pastor who was eating dinner with his family around this time of the year. He asked, “Can anyone tell me what the four candles on the Advent wreath represent?” His 7-year-old son quickly answered, “There’s love, joy, peace… and… and…” Eager to keep up with her brother, the pastor’s five-year-old daughter broke in, “I know! Peace and quiet!”
I’m sure many of our young parents wouldn’t mind a week dedicated to nothing but “peace and quiet,” but the first candle on the Advent wreath is the candle of hope. In a world filled with darkness and despair, we need the hope and promise of Emmanuel.
This weekend we will light the candle of hope and, once again, tell the timeless story of Christmas. I hope you will be a part of the preparation!