Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fourth Sunday in Advent

 Today is the fourth Sunday in Advent.  Other than Easter, Advent is my favorite season in the liturgical calendar.  I love this time of preparation for and anticipation of the birth of Christ.  I love Advent hymns (not so much O Come O Come Emmanuel but People Look East and Come Thou Long Expected Jesus).

I like taking the time to wait and anticipate to savor rather than rushing headlong into the crazy and joyful celebration of Christmas.  I'm glad when Christmas comes but I really do enjoy this time of expectation.

This year I have a new found appreciation for the advent wreath.  As our daily light decreases and our world stays darker later each morning I love the symbolism of the wreath's increasing light.  Today all four candles are lit.  At the brink of darkness this wreath burns at its brightest proclaiming the coming birth of the Light.

What you see pictured here is a treasured Advent wreath.  It's a paper plate, toilet paper tubes, some fun foam cut outs, a bit of glitter and yellow tissue paper.  Allen made it when he was five.  I love it because we can leave it "burning" 24/7 and because, well, Allen made it.  What's not to love about that?

As we head toward the darkest day of the year (and it will be dark here in Belgium) may you too experience the warmth and light of this Advent season.

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