Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

January 4, 2013

Looking back at Christmas

Faith Notes

By Pastor Joan Ervin - Cincinnati and Unionville United Methodist Churches
Daily Iowegian

APPANOOSE COUNTY — As I sit here and write this, it is Christmas Eve; the most “holy” day of the year for us all whether we believe it or not. This is the time we remember that God sent his son to earth to save us all, mostly from ourselves.

During the four Sundays before Christmas, what we call Advent, our church has been lighting the Advent wreath.

The first candle on the wreath was the candle of HOPE. We lit this candle to remember the hope that Mary brought into the world when she gavebirth to her firstborn son.

The second week, we lit the candle of PEACE. We lit this candle to remmember the peace that Joseph felt when he had a dream and realized that Mary told bim the truth about the baby; and also the peace that we can all find in that baby.

The third week we lit the candle of JOY. The angels brought news of “great joy,” not just to the shepherds, but to “all the world.”

The fourth week we lit the candle of LOVE. Our Christmas gift, from God, is love. God loved us so much that he sent his own son to die on the rugged cross to save us from our sins. This is called GRACE. Grace is not one of the Advent Candles, but I believe it should be. When God sent his son to earth, he sent us something we didn’t deserve. This is called grace.

As you read this, Christmas is over, but the hope, peace, joy, love and especially the grace, goes on and on. Let us all begin the new year by doing what the shepherds did. Let’s go and tell it on the mountain and everywhere that Jesus Christ is born and is ready, right now,to save us all from ourselves.

May you all have a happy and blessed new year.