My Most Favoritest Thing About Christmas....Ok...One of Them.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent and I have to tell you that I am psyched. I love this part of the Christmas holiday....you know...where a family lights a different candle every week and tells what that candle represents. I love Advent because it reminds me of what this season is all about....Christ's birth. It saddens me to see so much hype go on about what Santa will bring you...and the rush and meaness that Black Friday brings out in folks....but then...after the Black Friday sales are over....comes that first Sunday in Advent. This Sundays scripture is from Matthew 24:36-44 and my sweet preacher husband, Frank is preaching from this text. I knew I would want to blog before church...so I came home yesterday and looked it up after we had done the bulletins. Then I went online to see what I could find to make it clearer to me. Bob Longman had a great devotional that I want to share with you. To be honest....I wish I had written it....it sounds like something I would say....but I didn't. "To set the scene in Matthew : Jesus has been talking about a time of trouble to come. He warns that many are going to die, and that there will be many false prophets and messiahs. He tells us to look for the buds that bring forth the new leaves of the new world. Now he tells us something even more ominous : noone knows when it will come, not even Jesus. Everyone will be busy living life in the same way they always have, completely careless about the things that matter most to God. (Sound familiar? Does this kind of remind you of how we are living today?) Then, "as lightning" (v.27), the Lord returns, bringing with Him the kingdom of God. That's not a problem for those who are busy doing God's work on earth; they're already living out the Kingdom. They have the hope in their hearts; they want what's coming. But what if that's not you? What if you're unprepared? What if you're caught partying when you should be serving? What if you've been foolish with the gifts God has given you, wasting it out of laziness, or worse, hoarding it because you're afraid to use it up? Don't wait for the Kingdom to come before you start living for it. Part of it is already here, wherever faith in Christ is lived out. The Kingdom life was meant to start here on earth, in this life, in this world, among these people around you. Live it because of your love of God, and you will be ready when he returns -- don't sweat the small stuff, because it's(and you are) in good hands." Ok so with this being the first Sunday in Advent....I have a challenge to issue you....right now...where you are sitting....What if you somehow found out that Christ was returning sometime in 2011. What would be the first thing you would do? You know when people are diagnosed with some terrible illness and told to get their affairs in order....they take extended vacations...or they quit their jobs....they do something radical. How radical would you willing to be if you knew.....that Christ was coming soon? Ok...so some of you may do things a bit differently from me....I have a friend who actually asked me what an advent wreath was. I could not believe it....I thought everyone knew....that is what I get for thinking. Anyways, I want to share with you what I know about the Advent wreath....and it's importance.
•1st CANDLE – (purple) THE PROPHECY CANDLE or CANDLE OF HOPE – We can have hope because God is faithful and will keep the promises made to us. Our hope comes from God. “And again, Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him.’ 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 15:12-13) •2nd CANDLE – (purple) THE BETHLEHEM CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF PREPARATION – God kept his promise of a Savior who would be born in Bethlehem. Preparation means to “get ready”. Help us to be ready to welcome YOU, O GOD! “As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: ‘A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.‘ (Luke 3:4-6) •3rd CANDLE – (pink) THE SHEPHERD CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF JOY – The angels sang a message of JOY! “…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:7-15) •4th CANDLE – (purple) THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF LOVE – The angels announced the good news of a Savior. God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17) •5th CANDLE – (white) “CHRIST CANDLE” – The white candle reminds us that Jesus is the spotless lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! His birth was for his death, his death was for our birth! “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!‘” (John 1:29) This one is lit on Christmas Day...or the First Sunday after Christmas Day. I have found many interesting facts about Christmas the last few days. I was actually looking for information on La Posada for my Spanish classes....and found a wealth of Christmas information instead. I can't wait to share some of these facts with you. God bless you and yours now and forever. XOXO K
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.