. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

Four Candles That Point To Jesus

We went to our first German church service yesterday. Our little friend sings in a choir whose job was to perform there. At Sankt Georgen.

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Yesterday was the 3rd Sunday of Advent, so we got to sing German hymns about Jesus and His coming. Two huge green wreaths hung from the ceiling on either side of the lectern. Each held four red candles. Three of them were lit, one sat untouched. It will burn next week.

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The church needed no other decoration, for the organ pipes and the shields from the 1700’s hanging on the soffets beneath the balcony were beautiful enough. Not to mention the painted ceiling. Seriously, the church was amazing.

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I had lots of time to admire its magnificence, since I really didn’t understand most of what the minister said. Of course, I did this as discreetly as possible, so as not to be rude or distract her from her own worship. (The priest was a woman.)

The excellence with which all of it was done led me to a different kind of worship. The meaning behind the beauty painted all over that place of worship struck a deep chord in my soul. I found myself praising God because He is worth the most treasured painting. He is worth far more than even the most excellent craftsmanship. Almighty God is worth every ounce of hard work the designers of that church put into its beauty.

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So much about the whole experience made me feel like we were inside a Christmas movie. All of us squished together in a pew. The youngest flashing sour looks at her older sister who wouldn’t scooch over. Trying to keep up with the hymn numbers, not knowing when to let the organist sing and when to join him with our own voices. Eyes wandering all over the place while the pastor spoke words we didn’t understand.

But there was something particularly meaningful about being there during Advent season. The beauty of an Advent wreath and the candles it held. The story their radiance represented. The Light of Life shining in that beautiful sanctuary. Something about all of the tradition filled my heart in a new sort of way.

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I crafted a really pretty Advent wreath two years ago. It was the first Christmas season we methodically lit the candles each Sunday and discussed the weekly readings. We’ve done it each year since. Only this year I got a new wreath. It’s German.

I love lighting those candles, each week. Every Sunday adding one more and reading its corresponding Scripture. Week 1: The Prophecy Candle of Hope. Week 2: Love. Oh, how He loves us! Week 3: The Joy God of the Shepherds, whom God told first. You know, those stinky, dirty “unimportant” sheep watchers. Week 4: Peace. The complete He makes us when we trust that Jesus holds all we need. That He is all we need.

These thoughts ran through my mind randomly yesterday as I admired the church from behind my daughter’s puffy purple coat in our small, crowded pew. I watched the three flames burn brightly from those wreaths. I considered the meaning that makes those candles so beautiful.

And I worshipped Him because of what those candles mean.

Does your family have an Advent wreath? What kinds of things help you at Christmas to worship God for the amazing that Christmas means?

2 Thoughts on “Four Candles That Point To Jesus

  1. Amie Yoder on December 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm said:

    We have an advent house with little doors but that’s 25 days. I like the idea of 4. I will have to see about that for next year

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