Dear Ones,
Happy weekend to you! It’s another beautifully sunny day and we are seeing quite a few people on our walks. This morning I made a big pot of chili and we saw the mass of Christian Burial from St. Michael’s for my aunt who died. It was a beautiful service and so honoring of her life lived for the Lord and others. Tomorrow we will all zoom and share our special remembrances of her as she touched so many of our lives. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
There seems to be a big shift that takes place right after Thanksgiving when our thoughts go towards Christmas. Black Friday is advertised, decorations go up, cards are being addressed and a lot of frantic activity begins. For many the real meaning of Christmas is lost and Jesus is often pushed to the periphery when He is to really be the center of our celebration. That’s one reason why we need Advent, which begins tomorrow to help us prepare for His coming. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, that means visit or coming. We remember Jesus first coming as a baby but we also look ahead to His second coming as we anticipate that awesome day. There are things we can do to prepare our hearts and many churches help us recognize this special time in different ways. Al and I are in charge of the paraments at our church so we took down the green ones and put up deep blue paraments, the color of royalty, after the Thanksgiving service. We also set up the beautiful Advent wreath that is circular to represent God’s infinite love. The four candles set in evergreen branches are: The Prophecy candle for the prophets who predicted His coming; the Bethlehem candle for Mary and Joseph’s journey; the Shepherd’s candle for the joy of finding Jesus; and the Angels candle which represents peace. But the middle Christ candle is white for the One who brought light into our world. If we have small children at home having devotions around the Advent wreath and letting them light and extinguish the candles can help them grasp the true meaning of Christmas. Mark Roberts writes in “Welcome to Advent” suggestions of how to make Advent meaningful and shares Psalm 62:5 (God’s Word) “Wait calmly for God alone, my soul, because my hope is in Him.” We are reminded to wait and Advent is a time of preparation and reflection rather than constant activity and frantic shopping. Our world is such a mess at this time but we can wait in hope because Jesus came and because He  is coming again.
Challenge for today: Take time for quiet reflection and do preparations that help you take in the true meaning of Christmas.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy