First Sunday of Advent: Light

Hard to believe that today is the last day of the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month). The challenge is given to write a blog post every day during the month of November. I did not make it. I think I missed five days of posting and six if you count the day I re-posted my brother’s blog with a few words of my own. I feel good about being pushed to write and to connect with people through this particular medium.

Today, in the Christian tradition is the First Sunday of Advent and the first day of the our new year. In many churches this day is accompanied with a candle to mark the Sundays before Christmas. Often the first Sunday’s candle is named for “prophecy” or “waiting” or “hope”. We chose at West Heights to use the image light. It is a good image as the days grow darker and shorter and considering the darkness that surrounds the world with violence, hatred and injustice.

I used a video clip from the Fellowship of Rings to help consider how much I, and I believe many need light.
It comes as that unusual company of men, elves, dwarves, hobbits and a wizard seek to fight the evil and defeat it. They need gifts and Frodo, who bears the ring that must be destroyed is given a particular gift by the elven Lady of the Wood Galadriel. The gift as shown in the video is light for the darkest of times when all light seems lost.

I preach from notes so this is not word for word from my sermon….but my notes said this:

I don’t know when this Advent will get dark for you or for what reason, but it will. There will come a time when all the violence and craziness of the world will come pressing in, or your grief from the loss of a loved one or the brokenness of a relationship will seem overwhelming dark, or when the circumstances of your life will not let up….in that moment, you will need a light to remind you that we are beloved sons and daughters of God, beloved children of the Light….and in that moment when all seems lost, I have gift for you to take home for you to use in that moment…a glow stick..seems a bit odd, but you can snap it and shake it and the glow stick will glow and you will see light and hope in the darkest times…because that is what we really isn’t this Christmas? We want light in the darkest places of our hearts and spirits and lives, we want the light of Christ to blaze and change us and change our world Paul writes: Live as children of light for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true
This week, my friends, may we remember that in the beginning was the Word and the WORD was and is God and that Word is the light of the world that as children of the light all that is good and right and true is made real in our lives and spirits and that Christ will shine on us and in us the darkness can not overcome it.

The glow stick glowed and I brought three home that had gotten jostled in the basket and they looked like this:
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I know that I will need light at some point in this Advent journey and one glow stick will make me smile and remind me that there is light in the darkest night and that God, whom I celebrate in Christ as “Emmanuel: God with us” is truly with me and with us all. With that faith in Light and Love I am graced to serve.

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