|This Advent stole is seen in full here.|
Advent traditions vary but the reasons remain the same: to prepare our hearts for welcoming God's gift of light and love, his son Jesus. Here is one idea to help connect a visual symbol to the message of the season....
This year I seem to be very drawn to scriptural images of light and therefore candles. We use candles in community worship but why not in private worship also? Be still and combine the visual image of the candlelight with a breath prayer for a time of meditatio . Breathing slow and deep as you meditate on a verse of Scripture can be a special way of being restored in his peace. Breathe in slow and deep as you whisper or think on a Bible phrase and hold your breath…then exhale. Here are some Advent suggestions:
- To model Mary's prayer- “Let it be to me… according to your word” (Luke 1:38)
- Remember the reason for the season- “Jesus, my One Thing… nothing else” (based on Psalm 27:4)
- For when you get caught up in the frenzy of the season- “Peace… Be still” (Mark 4:39)
On the subject matter of light and candles I'd love to also share this title with you written by a dear friend. Dave pastors in an urban Pittsburgh neighborhood. I Will Hold My Candle is a wonderful book that is a culmination of Christmas Eve stories Pastor Dave has shared in worship over the years. I am finding the stories enjoyable for all ages and each contains a lesson or message that can be applied to your own life no matter what your life circumstances are. Shhhhh......it's my gift of the season for everyone from the letter carrier to my mother in law's caregiver to my mom. It can be purchased on Amazon here and Lulu here.
What is your book recommendation for the season? Have you published your writings? Tell us about your recommendations and work because we'd love to read what you've written!