Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I Lay Myself Before Thee


James 4:6
"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.

16 comments:

  1. I confess to not observing "Advent" in a traditional sense. One of the things I am making a concerted effort to do this season is tell people how much I love them and also to stay focused on Christ. I don't want anything to rob me of that this year.

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    1. Amen, Bill! What could be better than focusing on the Lord (what Advent is supposed to do for us) and showing love to others? I'd say you're doing exactly what Christ commanded.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Beautifully said, Martha! I'll highlight your encouraging words on the Christian Poets & Writers blog http://www.christianpoetsandwriters.com. God bless.

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    1. Thank you so much, Mary! I appreciate the highlight so much. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Martha, You've again crafted a meaningful post. Jesus is the Light of the world and we, His children, are to reflect that light in a dark world. This year, I'm really wanting and needing to change my focus to really drink in, so to speak, the wonder of the first Christmas.

    As far as how I'm observing Advent? Well, I listen to candle lighting reading at church and I'm also crafting a series of posts on my blog focusing on Advent.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Kim, for your kind words. Yes, Advent should be a time of reflection as we turn once more to the miracle of God coming into the world as a helpless babe. I'm trying, too, not to be affected by how the world thinks we should view Christmas.
      I'm looking forward to reading your Advent series, and will be certain to share.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. Simply lovely, Martha. I have Scottish roots - both grandmothers born there - and so I really liked your Advent wreath a lot. I have a little Advent cabin, with 12 doors on either side. Each day I open up a door to find a new little forest creature. By Christmas Day, I have an entire menagerie!! It fits with my mountain home decor, but is also a reminder to me that God cares for all creatures, great and small. It is a reminder of His loving care.

    God calls us to lay down many things - but nothing more dear, nor more hard to let go of, than our very selves. I want to offer *me* - after all, it's what He did for us, He offered His very life.

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Oh, I love the sound of your Advent Cabin, Sharon! Perfectly rustic and a down-to-earth reminder, as you said, that God has created everything in this world and loves us as His own.
      And yes, we often have trouble laying ourselves down before Him, but that's exactly what we must do if we are to grow in faith and in spirit.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. I haven't ever done advent as a 'special' season but we do Christmas and definitely invite 'advent' in to our home and lives in many ways and in thoughts. love your little candle holder it reminds me of the one our children had when they were little.

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    1. Sharon, there are so many different traditions families engage in during the days leading up to Christmas. For me, there is no wrong way to celebrate if we are focused upon the miracle of God becoming flesh and dwelling among us.
      Glad you liked the Advent wreath. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  6. wow love the prayer on your candle holder. That is perfect. What a neat prayer, almost a breath prayer. Thank you for sharing this; it has enriched my advent.

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    1. So gratified to know this prayer enriched your Advent experience, Jean. I certainly has mine!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. So lovely, Martha and as always, honoring to our God, His Son, His Spirit. May God bless you this Christmas and always. Blessings beyond measure. Carole

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    1. Thank you, Carol! May God shower you with blessings in this joyous season and always!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. "I lay myself, before Thee." Amen! Praise God! May we begin each day in this humility.

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    1. Oh, yes, Carol, that makes for a great day, dwelling in the presence of the Most High.
      Love and blessings!

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