"God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble."
This past Sunday marks the beginning of Advent, the Christian New Year, occurring an entire month before the world rings in 2016. It is a time of high expectation as we wait for the coming of Christ Jesus once again; looking forward to both celebrating His birth, and awaiting in faith His coming again in glory for His own.
We honor the Light of the World not only at Sunday service, but also at our evening meals at home. As the skies darken and winter nights creep closer, the glow of the candlelight fills us with hope, cheer and comfort. Yes, I know our candles are not the traditional purple and pink, but they match beautifully with the Celtic-designed Advent candle holder I purchase a few years ago.
The reason I chose this particular Advent centerpiece? Easy! My ancestral roots drink deeply from my Celtic heritage. In simply contemplating the twists and turns of the designs, I find myself on another plain of observation and awareness. It's as if I can see and know at the same time; not needing words, only wonder.
But it is the words lacing the circle of this Advent wreath that draw everyone in the family into what it means to worship the Lord, our God: "I lay myself before thee as I light this flame."
I lay myself before thee . . .
In this season when we anticipate the arrival of the unrivaled grace offered to us by God, we need to humble ourselves, lay ourselves before Him, as we acknowledge the light soon to return to the world.
We need to recognize our unworthiness, uncleanliness.
Our inability to achieve anything or be anyone on our own without God's help.
We light the candles.
But it's only by God's grace we see the light.
How are you observing the season of Advent?
Prayer: Father, let us humble ourselves before You and Your Son, the Light of the World, as this Advent promises new hope and blessings for our lives. May Your Holy Spirit fill our hears and minds with the real reason for the season, and keep us ever focused upon Your promises, which we know, will be fulfilled in Your time. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.