In the sweltering of July, my mother finds her candles on sale at Hobby Lobby. She is always excited to find three purple and one pink. She can’t wait to call me and ask if I want her to purchase some for me as well. She is thoughtful and generous.
Why is she so happy about unusual colored candles? Because she uses them for her Advent Wreath in December. There is something touching and beautiful about her excitement as she considers celebrating the shocking miracle of the day that Christ came in the flesh to redeem His people.
I love this tradition too, although I never remember the reasons for the different colors. On the four Sundays that precede Christmas, Gabriel, myself, my mother and my father gather in a circle. My mother lights the candle, and then each candle progressively as the weeks continue. The first one will be a stump by the time Christmas arrives.
My father has a book of Scripture and prayer that we take turns reading. We start with the centuries old call of Isaiah and lead into the unbelievable fulfillment of them. No one could have written this story – it’s so perfect and so unimaginable. It is a time to ponder and marvel in anticipation.
We are reminded of our black, our shadows, our red-guilt. We are reminded of His purity, His Light, His red-blood that has cancelled our debt. We wonder, “What was it like for Mary? For Joseph? What about the shepherds?” We read of their fear, their confusion, and their obedience. We discuss the ramifications of their courage and faith.
Sometimes, I weep in our little circle. Quietly, and I don’t think they see it. But to watch my Dad, my Mom, and my son all together in prayer in worship is overwhelming.
It is a gift that I can’t fully express – I know our histories, our struggles, and how God has rescued us and reconciled us. First to Him, and now to each other. Our family has been rocked by death, by disease, by pain and hurt, and yet God’s mercy has enveloped us. It is good to gather and worship together. So good.
Maybe this is why my mother gets so excited in July when she finds those candles?
On Sundays, we have three options for Worship & Praise! Please join us:
- First Service at 8:30 & Second Service at 10:30am (both indoors)
- Via live-stream at 8:30am on Facebook
“... submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
“Outdo one another in showing honor.”
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
Here is what you should know and expect, as you join us for worship:
Gathering to Worship Together at MCC
When we gather on Sundays, our unity is expressed by how we serve one another in Christ. Please join us in extending grace to each other amid our differing perspectives and different views about how to live in this time. The Lord has exhorted us:
May the Lord be glorified in our midst, and in His body. We can’t wait to see you!
“ ... to the praise of the glory of His grace ...”