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"A candle is burning, a flame warm and bright, a candle of hope in December’s dark night.
While angels sing blessings from heaven’s starry sky, our hearts we prepare now for Jesus is nigh." - A Candle is Burning, Sandra Dean

Advent is a time when Christian churches wait expectantly and prepare for the arrival of Christ in our midst.  Candle lighting, daily devotions and decorating are all traditional methods of preparation for the much longed-for Messiah.  During Advent, decorating our spaces is maybe the most obvious sign of getting ready, but more important is the work not so easily seen: the preparation of our hearts and minds.  Slowing down and taking time to reflect are the biggest challenges at this hectic time of year.

Each Sunday during Advent, the Knox congregation will sing a beautiful hymn written by Sandra Dean, a Canadian music director.  A Candle is Burning, published in 1986, is set to the tune Mueller, perhaps better known as one of the tunes to Away in a Manger.  Hope, Peace, Joy and Love are traditional Advent themes, and these are reflected in the hymn.  Dean makes sure our minds and hearts are set for the coming Messiah by reminding us to watch and wait:

"Our hearts we prepare now for Jesus is nigh."

"For Jesus is coming to show us the way..."

"A candle to point us to heaven above."

Twice a week during Advent, Knox will offer a reflection on a traditional Advent Carol (some old, some new).  We invite you take time to light a candle and reflect on what the hymn inspires in you.  If you don't have the opportunity to sing each carol in worship, perhaps you'll want to search for them on the Internet, and spend time listening to a recording.

Questions for Reflection:

  • In what ways is a candle an effective symbol for Advent?
  • How might you strive for the Advent goal of slowing down and watching patiently?
  • What are some ways you can show your love to friends, family and your community during Advent - before Christmas?