Nov26MonNovember 26, 2012
Today is the fourth Sunday before Christmas. I gather a basket of small evergreen branches, bring out the Advent wreath form, and start to fashion our advent wreath.
More than a decoration, it’s a cherished tradition in our home. We will light one candle this Sunday, two candles on the second Sunday, and so on, until all four candles proclaim the coming of Christ. On Christmas Eve we will place a white candle in the center of the wreath to represent the Light of the World.
As I reach for branches of fragrant cedar or fir and trim the twigs to just the right size, I am reminded that evergreens are the oldest symbol of eternal life, and the circle is a symbol of eternity. But I am also reminded of other circles that are part of my life.
Isaiah 40:11 (NIV) tells me that I am in the circle of God’s care. “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young.”
There have been times of pain and uncertainty. Whom can I turn to? Whom can I count on for help? Deuteronomy 33:27 (NIV) assures me, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
And so I find myself in the circle of His comfort and support.
The year has brought some tough times. Job faced those. Satan sets out to attack him, but Job remains faithful to God. Stymied, Satan confronts God saying, “… have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has?” (Job 1:10, NIV).
How reassuring to know that God places a hedge around you and me, and no one and nothing can harm those who are in the circle of God’s protection!
Twig by twig the circle grows into a fragrant wreath. I can see the light in the children’s eyes as they gaze into the flame of the first candle. They will take turns lighting the candles and we will join our voices in harmony to sing our favorite carols. We are in a circle of love, the circle of His everlasting love.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3, NIV).