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As we prepare to enter an extended season of Advent on November 8, you are invited to prepare a space in your home that will remind you of HOPE.

Hope is the cardinal virtue of Advent as we look forward to Christ's three comings - at the end of time in glory and majesty, into our world and hearts today in spirit and power, and into history at Christmas in weakness and vulnerability. All three of these comings prompt us to HOPE because we expect and long for a saviour who will bring justice at last to our hurting world, peace to our broken hearts, and love to all the lost.

A traditional Advent display includes four candles set on a wreath of evergreen boughs. The candles - one for each Sunday of the season - are symbols of the growing light that is not overcome by the dark. The circular wreath represents eternity and the perfection that God will one day bring to the world. The evergreen boughs remind us of God's everlasting love that is always fresh, new, and alive. All three symbols speak to us of HOPE in God's future.

What reminds you of HOPE? What could you include in a display of your own for this season? As we celebrate SEVEN weeks of Advent this year, how could you adjust a display that you may already have (for example, adding three candles to your wreath)? Or what new thing could you create? Perhaps your display will include some of the traditional items, and maybe it will include some symbols personal to you, that remind you of HOPE. Be creative! Feel free to think outside the box as you create an Advent display for your own home.

There is an orchid in my office that has been blooming for months and still looks strong. It has become a symbol for me of God's life that is not overcome by death - like the traditional evergreen, but personal to me. This will be part of my own Advent display, along with candles that I will light week by week.

Once you have created your Advent reminder of HOPE, we would love it if you would take a picture and share it! You could post it to the church Facebook Group. You could send it by email to the church office. We'd love to assmble the photos in a collage to share with the community in our weekly newsletter, and post to the website.

If candles are part of your display then be sure to light them during worship on Sundays. Together we'll witness the growth of the light through the season, and share signs of HOPE with each other.