The Expectation of Advent

We are in the first week of the season of Advent. Many churches and many families celebrate the four Sundays of Advent which fall on the four Sundays prior to Christmas day. Advent is a time for getting ready, preparing for something special, and putting the focus on a little baby born thousands of years ago. Advent is hope, joy, love and peace. What is your Advent?

Advent green wreaths are round representing the constant circle of life. The four candles represent the preparation and expectation of what is to come and who will be celebrated during the time of Advent. Hope is the feeling that something exciting and wonderful will change the hearts of men. joy is the feeling that was felt thousands of years ago when a little baby was born in a manger. His arrival was joyous and people everywhere realized this little baby was a miracle and was sent by God to save the world. We feel the joy when we think of Jesus and his love for us. Love radiated from Jesus as he traveled to tell wonderful stories, healed the sick, and taught many about the love of God for all. Peace is the expectation of Jesus’ return when all will live with peace on earth. The fifth candle is placed in the center of the Advent Wreath and represents Jesus as the light of the world. Christians around the world will reflect on the Advent season as a time of hope, a time of joy, a time of love and a time for prayer for peace everywhere on earth.

As we reflect on the Advent season leading up to Christmas, we need to take the time to remember the blessings in our lives, the people we treasure, the feelings of our hopes, joys, loves and the peace that passes all understanding. There are many different ways of sharing these feelings with family, friends and those who need us. Christmas is a time to spread these feelings of hope, joy, love and peace with those whose lives we touch. Giving of our blessings and our time can make a huge difference in our lives and the lives of others.

At this time, I wish to thank all the wonderful volunteers who serve those who need help not only at Christmas but all year long. These volunteers share the meaning of Advent all year long. If you have the time, a little extra cash, a prayer, a thank you, share it with the following: Thank you! To: The Upshur County Christmas store who provides Christmas gifts for our children; To all the churches who adopt families through the Salvation Army to make their Christmas a little brighter; To the Upshur County Parish House and the Salvation Army for the food provided to families who can use a little help; To all the other agencies who help on a daily basis to provide the needs of many; To all the volunteers who make our community shine not only at Christmas but all year long. I could go on and on with a list of the wonderful ways Upshur County organizations help others. Finally, it takes many volunteers in many areas to complete this circle of love. It takes each one of us to step forward and contribute our time, efforts, funds and involvement to make this circle of love continue throughout the year. This is the true meaning of Christmas and if there is a family out there who needs a little help this year, there are community agencies who will help. Our Upshur County churches will help. If you know of neighbors who need help or are alone, there is no better time than this Advent Season to show you care. Collections are still on going for those who are still suffering from the floods in our state. If you wish to help, contact one of the churches who will direct you to the folks who are taking the items to various counties that are still in need of assistance.

One by one, we can make a difference in the lives of others. Isn’t this what Jesus would do?

I leave you with these wishes for this Christmas season. May all your gifts be made of laughter, wrapped in joy and given in love. May the joy you bring to others keep your heart forever young. May life’s unexpected moments surprise you with joy. Simple memories are little miracles that warm our hearts with laughter and bless our lives with love. As we celebrate this special time of Advent and Christmas, may we feel the miracle that is within us. God loves us and through Him, each one of us can make the world a better place by sharing hope, joy, love and peace with those whose lives we touch.

The candle makes a beautiful light in the darkness.

As we light our candles at Christmas, let our light shine before men, that they may see the light of Jesus in us and see the hope, joy, love and peace.

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