We Are About Relationships
This past Sunday marked the beginning of the season of Advent. As Carol reminded us in worship, Advent is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the arrival of Christ. You will notice some differences in our worship services to mark the season. The color of the bulletin and the paraments in the Sanctuary is now purple, the color of royalty and preparation. Shades of blue, the color of hope, are also used in various places, including the beautiful new handmade banners across the wall. Each week, a new symbol will be added to represent our theme words for the season: expect, prepare, rejoice and hope. The Doxology will be sung to a different tune that evokes feelings of longing and expectation to go with the season.
We light an Advent Wreath each week as well – one candle for every Sunday of Advent that has passed. The wreath is a circle, reminding us of God’s never-ending love. It is made of evergreen branches to remind us of the new and everlasting life we have through Christ Jesus. There are three purple candles, one pink candle, and a central white candle. The purple and pink candles represent the four Sundays in Advent. The pink candle is lit on the third Sunday of Advent, which is sometimes known as Gaudete Sunday, a Latin word which means “Rejoice.” It is on this Sunday when we realize that our wait is nearly over and we celebrate that Christmas is almost here. The central white candle, known as the Christ Candle, is reserved for Christmas Eve and represents the light of Christ breaking into the world. During our Christmas Eve services, we will light our candles at the end of the service from the Christ Candle.
We have compiled an Advent Devotional Guide, written by our children and youth. Copies are available in the Narthex, and I would commend it to you for your personal devotional time during this season. Finally, we will have several worship services during this season:
As we prepare for Christmas by shopping, decorating our homes, making travel arrangements and the like, my hope and prayer is that we will also be preparing our hearts for the arrival of Jesus Christ. May the devotional guide, the symbols in worship and the worship services themselves serve as means of grace in our lives during this hectic time, and may we encounter the Christ Child anew each day.