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It’s bothered me lately that my church has dropped the Advent wreath tradition. As I wrestled Joshua yesterday at my parents’ church (PLEASE HAVE CHILDCARE, CHURCHES!!!), I still warmed as some older women lit the pink and purple candles.
I remember each week in Advent from my childhood church: the ceremony of the lighting, Scripture, prayer, and singing of “O Come O Come Emmanuel.” I’m either a staunch traditionalist or nostalgic to a fault. I miss the wreath.
(I’ve occasionally had people suggest on the blog that I become Catholic. And given that I really, really love church rituals maybe they’re right.)
But it got me thinking yesterday about observing Advent. And how, if we want to worship the Christ child at the manger, it does take preparation. It takes some Advent of the heart, lighting parts of your spirit to ready yourself for remembering (prophecy), joy, peace, love.
I’m a great remember-er. But am I cultivating any of the others this Christmas? I feel wound up like tightly tangled Christmas lights, parts of me popping off and twisting until I just want to retreat from my family and myself.
My children off their schedule drive me completely ballistic. The baby just woke up from yet another miniature nap while the older two are breaking rules left and right without regard for consequence. I kind of just want to throw up, not lean my heart to worship.
There are two days left for this season. But isn’t each month, day, hour an Advent? A preparing for His coming? We wait. We wait every day. Some hours we’re desperately grasping for His presence. Some we sit in joy, peace, love. Content. Full.
I may have been lost a little this December. But praise be that we get a new Advent-start each day. New mercies. Another chance to light those candles.