I remember growing up in Catholic school and having to make construction paper Advent wreaths every single year! The little yellow flames would be cut out and held until each new candle was lit. Great idea, except for the fact that the chance you could find the flames greatly diminished as each week passed. I will bet over 50% of the wreaths never received a 4th flame! Of course by then, most kids in elementary school had moved on to Christmas. Christmas was not a day. It was an entire experience of vacation from school. You may or may not have an Advent wreath in your home or office, but those flames are rather insignificant to the flame that should be burning in our hearts during this season. How are you finding ways to light your fire? How are you preparing the way for Christ to come into your life and the lives of those around you in a more profound way? The ritual of an Advent wreath is a good idea for anyone. But don't think that your preparations are done simply because you have one. You are called to be a flame to others during this season, reminding them of why we celebrate this time at all. Each person is a candle to be lit, and you have the gifts, given to you by God, to light them. At Christmas, you want God to look at you and see all the light generated by those He lit through you. Now is the time. Don't wait until Advent is almost over. You might not be able to find your own flames if you wait too long.
-Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS