Second Sunday of Advent, a Tree of Blessing

Tomorrow, the church I serve will celebrate the second Sunday of Advent.  The second candle on the Advent wreath will be lit.  This candle symbolizes the second theme of Advent, love.  This candle is often called Bethlehem’s candle.

Micah 5:2   “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” NIV

Love incarnate was born in Bethlehem.  The love of God, the love that IS God, came to dwell with us.

We have a tradition at our church.  We put a Christmas tree and then have people bring ornaments that represent how God has blessed them this last year.  We have had pill bottles, mirror from a motorcycle that had crashed, pictures of children and grand children, origami cranes, and other interesting objects put up as decorations, symbols of God’s blessing, protection and love.

We used to decorate this tree on the first Sunday evening of Advent, but have decided it would be better to do so on the second Sunday morning.  The more I think about this move (it was done for attendance reasons) the more I believe it will be more meaningful to do during a time in which the theme is God’s love.  For it is only because of and through the love of God can we be blessed.

Dallas Willard Devotional

I have just received a copy of Dallas Willard’s new daily devotional, Hearing God through the Year.

It is an excellent tool for a person’s daily spiritual health.  The words Dr. Willard writes are not only lesson leading to a deeper grasp of our relationship with God, they remind us it is God who seeks us as well.

The daily devotions have the Scripture Dr. Willard brings to our attention, commentary, and then a suggestion to turn study into experience.  The time required depends more upon the time you have to give than time demanded.  The devotion could be read in less than five minutes.  The exercise recommended could  be done on the run or all day long.

I am going to enjoy this year long journey.