Means of Grace: Advent

Advent is well under way and if you are like most folks, it may have gotten under way just a little earlier than you anticipated. This is due, in large part, to the fact that Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, so the beginning of Advent falls four full weeks before Christmassomething that only happens about once a decade.

We could choose to be disgruntled about Advent’s early arrival, but it seems better to look at it as an opportunity to center ourselves more, to focus ourselves more, and to ready ourselves more for the coming of Christmas. For those who have an Advent wreath at home, it is a wonderful chance to light those candles each day, whether it is at mealtime or some other time and to spend some time in reading or in prayer or in song (or a combination of all three) in focusing on each week’s “theme”: hope, love, joy, and peace.

Even if you don’t have an Advent wreath, take the time to light a candle before your daily prayers and take a breath and focus on the Light that shines against this world of darkness; focus on the Hope of Christ’s return; focus on the Love that God has shown His children; focus on the Joy of having a Risen Savior; and focus on the promised Peace to come.

Whatever you do, take an opportunity to pause before the Lord in this season and to remember that Advent is our new beginningthe beginning of our church year as we reset our hearts and minds to hear the greatest story ever told all over againto acknowledge again that we are called to be God’s people.

~ Pastor Amy

Five Unique Churches Sharing One Common Mission

St. Paul’s UMC ~ Republic Trinity

Melmore UMC ~ Sycamore UMC ~ Union Salem UMC