Sunday 16 November 2014

Advent: The Season of Anticipation

Today at church Jacqueline and I helped the Junior and Senior Kindergarten Sunday School students put together advent wreaths (  We gave each student a green wreath cut out of styrofoam-like material. Then, we gave them candle #1, HOPE, which they had to colour purple.  Next was candle #2 PEACE which they had to colour purple as well.  Candle #3 was JOY which they coloured pink.  Candle #4 was LOVE which they coloured purple and Candle #5 was JESUS which they left white.  Some of the students were already had their candles coloured and glued on.  Some needed help with the colouring and gluing.  Some needed help reading the five words.  But all were immersed in the activity, their little fingers working busily to finish the task.

The season of advent brings back great memories for me.  The anticipation of the coming of Christmas, the coming of Jesus, makes it so exciting.  I remember the Christmas wreath at our home church.  I always looked forward to the lighting of one candle, followed the next week by two, and so on, building up to the Jesus or Christ candle on Christmas Eve.  One of the Advent Sundays was also a white gift Sunday where we would wrap a canned good in white tissue paper, twist it at the ends and put it under the Christmas tree at the front of the sanctuary.

As an adult, we celebrate Advent at home as well, following Rob's German Lutheran tradition.  My mom gave us her old wreath which she used to hang on our front door.  I bought a holder which fits four candles which sits inside the wreath.  We sit it on our dining room table.  For each of the Sundays of Advent, once it gets dark, we light a candle on the wreath, and sing Christmas carols (English and German).  At the end, we take turns saying a prayer and blowing out a candle.  As toddlers, our children cried when they had to sit still for Advent.  As preschoolers, they suggested we sing Happy Birthday (the only song they knew by heart).  As older children, they loved the tradition.

In two weeks, we will light the Candle of PEACE.  I can already feel the anticipation.  Maybe some of my Kindergarten students will post their wreaths on their fridge doors.  Likely some will have an Advent wreath at home.  Maybe they'll even sing. I'm sure Jesus will smile when he hears their little voices.  

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