Today we light the candle of Hope. | Isaiah 7:14 | Immanuel - God Is With Us | Joy Day | We have hope in Christ | Advent Candlelighting


Advent candles, wreaths, and readings might or might not be part of your Christmas celebration.   I didn’t grow up with the tradition in my home, but observed it in my church.  Some of us love the rituals of the seasons.  Others simply embrace the season.

For quite a few years I was involved in leading children in worship, and in the liturgy and lighting of the advent candles.  I live in a different place now and I serve behind the scenes.  But, those memories are tender in my heart.

Another memory that is tender in my heart is singing the song, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”  I remember singing it in an old, ornate, and even gilded Lutheran church as a young child.  It was a terribly mournful sounding song to me then.  It still is.  Having lived a few more years….seeing the pain of friends going through divorce, life-threatening illness, and losing jobs…. seeing a country whose capitol is no longer recognized….and knowing of the cries of those who are captive in human trafficking, and even today, slavery…I understand, more than ever, the need for hope.   That old hymn sung in a minor key is a cry for release.  And it is as real as it was when the song was written in the 12th century. - O Come, O Come, Emmanuel  - hymnal page - Traditional Christmas Carol of Advent


The good news is….  We do have hope.  Real Hope.  We have Christ.   And we join in chorus singing….Rejoice!!

During this season of Advent we anticipate the Reason for our hope coming back again to this aching world.  We anticipate all wrongs, righted.  We look forward to no more war or sickness or pain or chains or tears.

Today we light the candle of Hope with a capital H.  In doing so, my heart is filled with JOY!  Even more joy than the child who lit the candle of Hope in kids’ worship.   And believe me, that is pretty exciting.


It’s Joy Day!

The day we take time to rejoice in God’s gifts over the past week.

Will you join me in counting just seven?  I’ll start:

I’m grateful for…

  1. The delivery, by the man in brown, of my rebuilt laptop (which I’m typing on now)!!!!
  2. Realizing that Jesus was a man of great physical strength and character when he walked the earth.
  3. The privilege of using my gifts to serve my husband in his work.
  4. Our car passing inspection without incurring any additional cost.
  5. God’s provision and answer to my prayer for free Christmas greens.  Thank you Lowe’s.
  6. Decorating the house outside on December 1st in a sweater and no coat.
  7. Fresh ground organic peanut butter on crackers.

It’s your turn!!  Scroll down and leave your seven in “share your thoughts” below.  Please know I will read and comment on each one.  And believe me…your joy meter will rise as you remember and share your seven.


Do you have a favorite Advent memory?
What makes the season of Advent meaningful to you (and your family)?


If you’d like to hear Enya sing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” click here.  Enjoy while your share your seven.

May your season of Advent by Extraordinary!


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  1. We have never observed advent in our home before, but I am thinking it is a great idea. Might just join in. Is it too late to start?
    I’m thankful……
    1. for Christmas music that reminds me of the birth of our precious Savior, Jesus Christ
    2. for granddaughters who want to help prepare communion
    3. for a church family willingingly pitching in to help ready things for our Christmas banquet tonight
    4. for 65 degree weather in DECEMBER
    5. for our 4 year old granddaughter ‘s sweet prayers for the Christmas program tonight. She gets to be a cow and is so excited about it, but she is sick today . Boo.
    6. for the privilege of seeing a friend be baptized into her new life in Christ
    7. for caring people who volunteer to be mentors

    • Diane says

      It’s never too late to start! Begin as you can. Ann has some helpful ideas at A Holy
      Susan….what a beautiful week you have enjoyed. Such sweet sweet blessings!!!
      Big hugs and wishes for the most extraordinary season of advent!

  2. Mel says

    Oh, she does that very well……… Thank you–beautiful, in any language……

    And it’s Joy Day! So, yes, I’m thankful–
    ….for the gorgeous weather to wander about it.
    ….for the ingeniousness of a three year old now who knows how to use mommy’s voice activated phone to ring Nana! *laughing!!*
    ….for the generosity of others.
    ….for the sensibility and subsequent safety of the gal who exited the burning building–literally.
    ….for the simply breathtaking moments with the full moon this week.
    ….for himself getting past the ‘I’m too old to do that any more’ and volunteering to ring the bell this season again!
    ….for the wise person in my life who never quits caring about me. That’s a very cool thing.

    Thanks for providing us a place to share–and for the lovely music today.

    • Diane says

      Oh I’m so glad you loved the music. 😀
      I’m loving your words of gratitude, too. They speak to a woman who lives life so rich and fully.
      Hope your new week is extraordinary!!! Like you!

  3. Beautiful display of glowing warmth and colour. Thank you for taking part in Mandarin Orange Monday:)

  4. Laura says

    It is such a beautiful hymn and your words make me appreciate it even more, Diane. Music is such a gift and I’m so grateful for its role in the Christmas season. Lovely.

    • Diane says

      Thank you Laura. May the music of the season fill your heart with extraordinary joy.

  5. Nikki says

    Hope…it’s a good thing…maybe the best thing and for me….Hope came from Him.

    • Diane says

      Yes Nikki! I’m reminded of the words from an old hymn…”Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
      My your season of Christmas be extraordinary!

  6. I love celebrating the liturgical season of Advent in our home. It really helps me to help my little ones understand the true meaning behind the reason for the season…keeping CHRIST in CHRISTmas!


    • Diane says

      Taking the next step to celebrating Advent at home, especially with little ones, really does take it to a whole new level. How precious those memories will be as your children grow up, and hopefully they will continue the meaningful tradition in their families, too. Thanks for taking the time to share, Valerie.
      May this CHRISTmas be truly extraordinary in your home.

  7. This is beautiful, Diane. I didn’t grow up doing the Advent traditions but have experienced them in church more recently. I love that song.

    • Diane says

      Thank you Charlotte!!
      The beauty of traditions is that we can begin a new one at any time.
      May your season of Advent be joy-filled.

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