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Each week during Advent, my church (like probably many of yours) invites a family up to tell about that week’s Advent candle, read a passage from Scripture, pray, and light the candle. This week they asked me to do that. I really don’t love being on stage and talking (with the exception of being totally ridiculous and hosting made-up game shows). My palms start sweating, my feet lose all feeling, and my voice fluctuates from shaky to “is-she-crying-right-now?” Suffice it to say that this was not in my comfort zone.

But I said yes. I said yes because I love being a part of a church that considers me a family unit. I don’t have to wait until I’m married or have kids to serve and lead and be a part of the church family.

When I brought up the fact that logistically I wasn’t sure I could read from the Bible and hold a microphone and light the candle, my pastor said, “We will make sure someone is there to light the candle for you.” Then he stepped in and did so. This is the family of God—made up of family units of five, of seven, of two, of one. It takes all of us to “light the candle,” if you’ll allow the metaphor, to show the world what it looks like to be a part of the church, the family made possible through Christ our Lord.

This week’s candle represented joy for our church. Joy because our Savior has come and because He will come again to make all things new. And when He makes all things new, we’ll stand together as His family, brothers and sisters in Christ, worshiping Him with joy—our hope fulfilled.

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