Our family failed at the Advent wreath for as many years as we have tried to keep it. Changing work schedules never made it easy. Add a few kids with busy schedules arguing and bickering, and the busyness of the season and our little candles were not always a spiritual hit. We tried, we told the stories, and read the scriptures. It was as often on Monday as on Sunday… but we tried. We prayed together and lit the Christ candle on Christmas morning, but it never looked like I imagined it would. We were not that family.We brought the Advent wreath into our tradition when the kids were little. Four candles lit on the Sundays leading up to Christmas. I’ve done some research and there seems to be no “true” advent plan, but many similar traditions. We used a simple formula: light the candle, read the scriptures, and say a short prayer.
Week 1- the Prophecy candle
Week 2- the Bethlehem candle
Week 3- the Shepherd candle
Week 4- the Angel candle
Christmas Morning the Christ candle
Never one to give up, I am again moving through the familiar stories and lighting the candles of the Advent wreath this year. It is so easy to be swept away by the flurry of commercial Christmas, and lose sight of the One whose birth we celebrate. I want to spend some time in the weeks leading up to the holiday thinking and praying about the true meaning behind the season. Thinking and praying about why this celebration matters, and what this birth means to my life today. I hope you will join me.
She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel
(which means ‘God is with us’).