This is a picture of our Advent wreath at home. It was given to us by Mike’s sister years ago, but I don’t think I’ve actually ever used it as an Advent Wreath. This wreath breaks into four pieces, and I usually put them out separately out on a shelf.
I put it in a circle this year and added candles because we needed a reminder in the TV room when we were there to worship God. We light it when we put on the worship service on Sunday mornings and watch with all of you.
The wreath actually shows the whole nativity story. You can just see Mary and Joseph on the right side. The wise guys take up two of the segments in the back. The shepherd is holding a sheep on the far left and the angel that spoke to him is front and center in this picture.
I like that the angel is front and center in this picture because angels are at the heart of the story during Advent. They come announcing important events to come. The Angel Gabriel begins with Zechariah and Elizabeth announcing the coming birth of John the Baptism to this elderly couple. He moves on to Mary six months later to announce the coming birth of Jesus. In the passage I am preaching from this coming Sunday an unnamed angel appears to Joseph in a dream with words of assurance and some directions for what Joseph should do next. Before the story is complete the Magi will receive a warning from an angel to head home by a different route so as to avoid Herod, and Joseph will receive further instructions about moving the holy family to Egypt.
I look for angels in this season – not the modern version in frilly white gowns and wings. I look for Biblical angels – messengers from God. That’s all they were in the Bible. They were God’s messengers, bringing a word from the Lord. And they often looked like ordinary people – no wings! So I look for messengers in this season who will bring a word of the Lord to me. Some of you have done so already with words of encouragement or acts of kindness.
It’s an extraordinary thought to imagine that you might be an angel for someone at this time of year. Yet every time you bring a bit of kindness or offer love or hope, I believe you are bearing God’s message into the world. Keep it up, you angelic dear ones!
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