Sunday- The Life Layer

The Second Week of Advent: HOPE

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The second layer of our wreath is made of evergreens and berries to remind us of life and resurrection. In deepest winter snows, we are still able to see signs of life all around us, such as evergreen trees or holly. This layer is about the times we are able to see new life, even in the cold, harsh, difficult times of our lives. This layer of your wreath may be filled with any items that remind you of life and resurrection. Place only the candle of peace on the greens at this time. The Christ candle also remains.

Finding New Life in the Midst of Winter

Light the peace candle.
Read Genesis 37:3-4, 26-28; 45:4-15

As the favorite son of Jacob, Joseph faced difficult trials and imprisonment when his brothers became jealous and sold him to become a slave in Egypt. In the end, there was a tearful reunion filled with forgiveness- and enough food stored to save them all from famine. Joseph endured the harsh, empty times and ended up bringing new life to many people. God also worked to bring new life and a joyful reunion for Joseph’s family.

What “winters” are you facing right now?

~Do you struggle with the season itself- the discouragement that might come during long, gray days of cold and snow?

~Are you facing a particularly harsh winter season of life- trials, concerns- at this time?

~Or, as a seed lies buried under a layer of snow, do you have a dream or goal that currently is hidden or waiting to bloom under better conditions?

Even as Joseph struggled, God was at work to make good come from Joseph’s situation and to use his abilities for greater good. God’s promise of new life is for us, here and now. God will make good of everything we may currently be enduring or delaying or hiding away.

What reminders help you trust that God always brings new life and resurrection? Can you recall previous times of healing, or when new life was restored to you or others? How wondrously this was shown to us through the resurrection of Jesus!

God already knows our buried dreams, hopes and goals. But we can entrust them to God by uncovering them, bringing them into the open (while still imperfect and undeveloped), and asking God to foster our own growth- along with our dreams and goals- and also asking that all we do will be for God’s glory.

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