Advent Devotions 2022

Light of Christmas

Posted by Rose Stout on

When I was a young girl, my family made an annual pilgrimage to Nashville for Christmas shopping. Being from a very small town, I had never seen a department store let alone one with an escalator, carousel horses and live monkeys! There were even parades inside the store.  Everywhere I looked I saw huge Christmas trees with sparkling ornaments and twinkling lights- a child’s paradise!

When the shopping was declared complete, my Daddy drove us to the Parthenon at Centennial Park to see the lighted Nativity. There were trees, angels, shepherds with their animals, and the manger scene all outlined in white lights. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Until then, the only Nativity scene I was familiar with was either at church or at the annual school pageant, where my sister and brothers all had parts to play.

Such wonderful memories!

Sixty years later, I still love the Christmas lights and all of the decorations, but in a different way. Now, the things that mean the most to me during the Advent season are seeing an empty Christmas for All tree because that means these children will have gifts for Christmas; the Christmas Eve service when the lights are dimmed, the candles are lit and we sing Silent Night; but most importantly, taking time from the busyness of the season to reflect on the real Christmas Gift we have been given- the Light of the world, Jesus Christ.


Wesleyan Bread
2 tsp. white sugar
1 c. lukewarm water
2 (.25 ounce) packs active dry yeast
¾ c. molasses
4 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. white sugar
¼ c. shortening, melted
3 c. lukewarm water
2 c. raisins
12 c. sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. caraway seed

Dissolve 2 teaspoons of sugar in 1 cup of water. Sprinkle yeast over the water and allow to soften for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together molasses, salt, 6 tablespoons of sugar, and shortening into the remaining 3 cups of water in a large bowl until dissolved. Add raisins, flour, and caraway seed.

Mix until a dough forms, then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 10 to 15 minutes. Place into a well-oiled bowl, and brush the top with a little melted shortening. Cover with a cloth; allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Punch down and allow to rise again until doubled in size, another hour.

Lightly grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, punch down, then form into two loaves. Place loaves into the pans, cover with a cloth, and allow to rise again until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375°. Bake for 1 hour until loaves are nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.




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