The Unlit Candles of Christmas

Christmas is a time of candles and light, but it is not automatic. The candles of Christmas wait until someone chooses to light them. What is true for the candles on our tables, hearths, and sanctuaries is true for the light that shines through us.  


In the Church, it's called the season of Advent—which means "appearing".  Candles have always played an important part in Advent. We light a candle every week in worship, each with a different theme: 


Hope  +  Peace  +  Joy  +  Love 


It's more than simply repeating the practices of the past, of course.  It is also an invitation to the future.  At its best, Advent pulls us into what is "yet to be"—God's future. The real choice of lighting candles is not to extend a familiar tradition one more year, but whether to embody  God's hope, peace, joy, and love today.  


That means the most important "candle" you will light this you. 


How do you relight that candle? What will help rekindle your passion and faith? What miracles of the Spirit need to happen so Christ appears in you? 


Here Are Two Simple Things You Can Do: 


1. Memory Verse  

Commit this short sentence to memory. Keep it in front of you—especially when things seem overwhelming, or when you are wondering what to do next. 


The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 

John 1:5 


2. Watch for Places Where God is Appearing Today 

Where has God been revealed in the events and interactions of your day?  It's a powerful question that can change the way you live. Think of the characteristics and words associated with God (love, compassion, heal, righteous, just, mercy, joy, creativity, etc.) and see how they show up in the people around you. This is the Spirit at work.  If it helps, write these instances in a journal and watch for patterns.  Another way is to make a practice of sharing your discoveries with others.  The more you see what God is doing right now, the more life becomes an invitation to where God wants to "appear" in your life.  


Christmas is a function of the calendar. It is going to happen one way or another. Advent, on the other hand, is a matter of choice.  #lightemup! 


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