Heavenly Father, help us to reflect the light of Christ now and throughout the whole year. Amen.
As a kid, Advent was always one of my favorite seasons. My family had an Advent wreath that would be placed in the middle of the table all through the season, and each night at supper we would read from an old Advent devotional book. My brother, sister, and I would get to take turns doing two big jobs: lighting the candles with the special long lighter and extinguishing them with a special little candle snuffer. There were three of us and only two prized jobs, so each night was a little bit of a fight to remember who had done what the previous night.
After the roles for the evening were established, we would light the appropriate candles for the night, read the little reading/reflection and prayer, and then there would be a song to sing. I can still feel my adolescent self-cringing as we awkwardly sang an acapella verse of whatever Christmas song was chosen for the night. Then we would eat supper and at the end of the night the candles would be extinguished.
Now I have my own three kids, but lucky for Teddy (6) and Stanley (4), their baby brother Ben isn’t old enough to fight them for the two prized roles of lighting and extinguishing candles. This season I’m excited for my family to light the candles, read the devotions and prayers, sing a verse or two of a song, share a meal together, and then extinguish the candles. I’m also excited for you to be joining us in this tradition. So welcome to Advent. Thank you for coming on this journey with us. Will you join us in singing a verse of one of my favorite Advent hymns, O Come O Come Emmanuel:
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 you, O Israel.
Let us pray…
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. As we journey through this season of Advent together fill us and this whole world with your joyous light, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
To the Writers
of this devotional: