God’s Advent Presence
by Rev. Dorothy Crockett
Preparing for Advent, I planned to place an Advent wreath in the center of my table. Without checking my supplies, and a bit hesitant, considering my budget, I purchased both the Advent candle holder and an artificial green wreath.
Getting home, I began unpacking my Christmas box. What I discovered gave me a sense of God’s presence – and – God’s presents.
In one box was a forgotten Advent candle holder. Beside it was a wreath that fit perfectly, unlike the newly purchased one. With further unwrapping, to my dismay, I discovered decorative Christmas candles melted from the heat of the storage shed.
However, to my surprise, was another of God’s presents. The only candles still whole: the Advent candles. Another of God’s gifts was the uncovering of a forgotten tree-shaped Advent calendar with a box of wooden ornaments to mark each day until Christmas. For Christmas Day, a golden star to place upon the top of the tree.
These three surprise gifts warmed my heart: the Advent wreath, the candles, and the Advent tree. This serendipity moment added much to me, in spiritually preparing my heart for Advent.
A bonus: I could return the purchased Advent holder and wreath. With the returned funds, I could purchase items for the Care Package that I send to my daughter in Madison, Wisconsin each Christmas season. Here was God’s presence, again. As we prepare to welcome the Christ Child, Jesus Christ, into our lives anew, God issues an invitation to ponder God’s presence. God invites us to be grateful, to meditate, and to anticipate the Gift that God lovingly gives to all of us.
Each year, God invites us to experience both God’s Present and God’s Presence.