Every year at this time I like to look back on all the things I have posted during the Advent season and Christmas following. Like reading a diary, I have the chance to see where my heart was keeping in that, all too often, rush towards Christmas Day. I hope I was and still am "keeping Christmas well" in the manner I aspired to years ago here.
This year I have worked hard to get as many of the tasks of the holiday season taken care of early. Once again, the decorations have been lovingly unpacked and placed in their traditional spots.
Christmas cards are addressed, while shopping and gift wrapping is almost complete. There is still the tree to be done but that is for next week.
With all these tasks behind me I am trying to take in this Advent season without haste or distractions.
Advent is meant to be a time of anticipation, heart felt examination and preparation for the birth of the Christ child. I have chosen these books to use for part of my devotions. The prayers may be my own or come from various Advent sources. I also found this beautiful Advent candle set.
For those of you who may not follow a liturgical calendar, we light one candle for each of the four weeks before Christmas. Purple is the liturgical color for Advent. Purple represents repentance and fasting as well as signifying royalty. Sometimes one candle,will be rose. The white candle will be lit on Christmas Eve. Each candle has a meaning. This first week we light the Candle of Hope, also known as the Prophecy Candle. As we light it, we have assurance in the hope that God will fulfill the prophecies that were declared about Jesus in the old Testament. (Isaiah 9:6-7, Micah 5:2,)
It also signifies that we are awaiting in anticipation the second coming of Christ. (Hebrews 9:28)
Heavenly Father, Advent is a time for remembering and reflecting on the
birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Father, I pray that you will
turn our hearts toward you as Christmas approaches. Let us not get
caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season this year. Help us not to dwell on the worries of these times and miss the
chance to celebrate the gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love, that you sent
to us on that first Christmas.
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel
May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust
in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy
Spirit” (Romans 15:13).