1 John :1-7 (NIV)

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.  4 We write this to make our joy complete.  5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.  7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

John 8:12 (NRSV) Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

DEVOTION – Leslie Coleman (Florida)

For years my husband and I have celebrated Advent by lighting the candles of an Advent wreath and using the litanies that appear in The Upper Room magazine.  Each Sunday, we wait for our sons or our grandchildren to stop by so we can include them in our worship time.  Our grandchildren delight in lighting the candles.  The questions in the litany cause us to pause and reflect.  And as we talk, we learn more about one another and our faith.

This year, early on Christmas Eve we lit the four advent candles of hope, peace, joy, and love.  Then, after lighting the Christ candle, we left them burning.  That evening, I found my eyes continually drawn to the wreath while our home filled with laughter and music, excited children, and adults telling old memories and stories.

Late into the night, I was seated nearby, watching as the candles began to burn out.  The candle of hope burned out first, followed by the candles of peace, joy, and love.  Yet the Christ candle burned on.  And I realized once again that when all seems lost, I need only Christ to show me the way.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Christ is always with me.

LINK2LIFE: Go to www.devotional.upperroom.org/blog to see a picture of the Colemans’ grandchildren and the Advent wreath.

PRAYER:  Dear God, when hope, peace, joy, or love seem lost, remind us that Christ is always with us to light our way.

PRAYER FOCUS: Those Feeling Overwhelmed By Life