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A Holy Circle - Wholly Loved - December 6

A Holy Circle

By Jessica Brodie

“Come near to God and he will come near to you ...” James 4:8a

When I was a kid, Christmas was all about me and the gifts I wanted to receive. Later I began to crave a more meaningful season.

Today, I realize a focus on Advent—the four weeks before Christmas when we prepare for the coming of Christ—is what I was always missing.

Advent is a holy period of centering self and honoring the stillness, magic, and beauty of our all-powerful triune God. It’s preparing not only for the coming of Christ as an infant, Word become flesh, but also Christ’s second coming.

This year, I’ve found myself craving quiet more than anything—the solitude of the morning, the sunlight streaming through the trees, the all-consuming peace that comes from relationship with my Lord. That soul-hunger has shaped what I have been trying to do this Advent: push aside the noise and draw near to God.

As the mom of four, I can’t escape noise, and I do my share of buying presents, hanging stockings, and putting up a tree. But I’m also intentional about devoting part of each day to a drawing-deeper in my Lord. I listen to His whispers even when the bustle of the season tries to drown Him out.

And there’s that Christmas wreath upon my door—hung not so much for the decoration but the meaning. I always thought wreaths were mere reminders of days of old, but this year, my heart is caught by what they represent. Formed in the shape of a circle, wreaths symbolize the eternity of God, a ring of life with no beginning or end.

It’s a holy circle—a promise, hope, and power in one.

As Christmas draws near, my time is increasingly compressed with shopping and other unessential chores of the season. But at least as I look upon that wreath, I can circle back to the Divine Circle that is God and eternity with Him, and prepare my heart and my life.

Jessica Brodie is an award-winning journalist and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministryteam. She’s also an author who currently serves as the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism. She is the author of More Like Jesus: A Devotional Journey (2018) and editor of Stories of Racial Awakening: Narratives on Changed Hearts and Lives of South Carolina United Methodists (2018), both from her newspaper’s Advocate Press. She also writes contemporary women’s fiction, represented by Bob Hostetler of The Steve Laube Agency. Her novel The Memory Garden won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ 2018 Genesis Contest. She has a faith blog at JessicaBrodie.com.

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