Every year when our kids were growing up we had an Advent wreath with the evening ritual of lighting the Advent candles at dinner. When everyone moved out and it was just the two of us, that tradition somehow got lost.

When 3 of our grandchildren came to live with us this fall, it seemed the right time to bring back the tradition. The delight of their faces at this new experience of celebrating the Christmas season by lighting the candles! HOPE, LOVE, JOY AND PEACE are the four words we repeat each evening as we are reminded of what each candle represents. The center white candle they know is the one we light on Christmas, the CHRIST candle. Jesus Christ the one who brings to us HOPE, LOVE, JOY AND PEACE.

As we have read various Christmas stories, the children are noticing that the words keep appearing! In fact, we see them in stores, on bill boards, in advertisements. They seem to be everywhere. It has been a gift to me to be able to take what could be a distraction and return it to the focus of Christ in this Christmas season. I often hear Mason say, “Jesus is the true meaning of Christmas.”

The words of the song “Be Born in Me (Mary) by Nichole Nordeman hold special meaning for me this Advent season. Mary’s willingness to let the life of Jesus be born in her began with her consent, a simple “Yes”. Somehow, she believed that what God wanted to do in her was greater than her and she was open. Her openness brought redemption and reconciliation to world. May I be willing to let the Christ life be born in me for that same reason that I may be a channel of redemption, reconciliation and HOPE, LOVE, JOY AND PEACE in the world I live in.

Blessings this Christmas!