Today marks the first day of Advent.
As tradition dictates,
(At least our tradition)
Our Advent wreath finds its place on our dining room table.
Purple ribbon and purple candles.
Electric candles, which will be turned on each evening between now and Epiphany, have been placed in each window.
The Santa painted ski now stands by the door.
Assorted other decorations find their place on window sills or above doorways.
So many memories.
The first ornament my parents bought when my Dad was in the Air Force and stationed in Alaska. Ornaments our children made when they were children. The ornament I made for our first Christmas together. The straw angel which has graced the top of our Christmas tree for as long as I can remember.
So much the same.
And, so much different.
This will be the first Advent when I will not add my voice to the voices of others as we sing Come Thou Long Expected Jesus and Once in Royal David’s City.
This will be the first Christmas we will not gather with family.
This will be the first Christmas I won’t be in a sanctuary on Christmas Eve.
Yet, here’s the thing.
With things either the same or different.
Into this weary world.
Into our weary lives.
Just as it is.
Just as we are.
Or a bit both
Today Advent begins.
Our candles are in the windows.