My cozy beautiful church has shone brightly the past two Sundays with added Christmas decorations each week. Next Sunday the members will bring poinsettias to place across the front of the church, each in honor of a loved one.
My childhood church memories are of Christmas programs where the children memorized poems about the Savior. The young adult members usually presented a play that told a message or depicted the Christmas story. Our church always had a large beautifully decorated Christmas tree with boxes of Christmas candy and an orange for each child after the program.
As a child our church did not celebrate Advent with candles.
My present church does celebrate Advent, and on an oak table are those slender purple candles, “Hope, Love, Joy” and one pink candle representing, “Peace” with a larger white candle representing Christ in the center. The ritual is lovely and I am enjoying the pageantry of it all. Although this church is different to me, my friends there are Saints and they accept me for who I am, even though I am a bit diverse in some ways.
In fact they are so much a part of me, that they welcome my stories as long as I keep them short and not too preachy. Although the members at my current church do not recognize it, the times that I share with my shortened and edited blog stories, they are receiving a Holy Spirit exhortation from the Lord. They ask me, why do your stories strike my heart as they do? Like an arrow that finds it mark they go where needed.
Some of my Charismatic friends have wondered why I would end up in a church that is so unlike my Pentecostal upbringing. There are several reasons, but the most important is that God sent me there, so it appears as if I am there to stay - - at least for now. God is teaching me to be patient, long suffering and respectful.
On Sunday our moderator announced that there is to be a Christmas Marriage ceremony at our church. The prospective couple came last Saturday to view our church and were so pleased with the decorations. All this will fit in beautifully with their Wedding plans as they come together to join two lives as one.
We are reminded that we join with our Lord to become one with Him as we prepare to celebrate His birthday! The Advent - - the arrival of the Messiah, the dawn of a new day.
|image courtesy photobucket.com|
This post has been entered on Shanda's Best of 2011 blog hop in light of her One Year Blogaversary at: http://www.shandaoakleyinspires.com/