- Henry Prater
Advent in a Pandemic
Yesterday, we celebrated Christ the King Sunday, which is the final Sunday of the Christian year. That means that this Sunday begins our new year with the beginning of Advent. Advent is always a special time for the church as we prepare our hearts and minds to celebrate the coming of our Savior Jesus. Each Sunday in Advent, we celebrate with a Scripture reading and the lighting of an Advent candle on our Advent Wreath.
This year, we are celebrating Advent in a very difficult time. We will not have an in-person worship service for the first Sunday of Advent; it is possible we will have to miss more as we monitor the pandemic situation in our community and the state of our local hospitals. That being said, we will still be celebrating Advent. Each week, one of our Edgemont families will film a short video of the week’s reading and lighting a candle. I want to invite each of you to participate at home as well. Whether or not you have a wreath, we can make our own with 5 candles, four in a square and one in the middle for a Christ Candle. If you don’t have matching candles, do not worry, just use what you have! Each week, follow along with the reading and then light your candle. Leave the candle lit for the remainder of our online worship service. After the service, you could then take a picture of your family with your Advent Wreath and tag Edgemont UMC as the location of the photo.
This is a very different year for our church. We are having to make changes in order to take care of one another. We are having to sacrifice things in order to show our love of neighbor. I am reminded of Jesus’ words in John 15:12-13, “My command is this: Love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Church, when we say, ‘I am staying home’ or ‘I am changing my plans’ or ‘we are erring on the side of caution’, we are choosing compassion for others over our wants during this season.
Church family, I continue to be grateful for the way you have stayed strong during this pandemic. I hope you will join me this Advent season to celebrate the Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus in some creative ways.