I had good intentions of writing a blog during the first week of Advent. We lit the candle of Peace for that first Sunday. Now, I know, that the candle of peace is usually week two. I take a little artistic license with the order of the candles, EXCEPT for Mary’s candle on the third Sunday (always pink, always joy) and the candle of love on the fourth Sunday, Joseph’s candle (which I will go into next week.)
Week one is often hope, or prophecy or preparation, which makes sense as Christians begin their new year. This year, though, peace seemed more important to focus on as the year begins. As it was, I didn’t have a very peaceful week. Nothing went wrong, it is just was a week filled with appointments and not very much time to breathe, to wait and to fill peace-full.
Yesterday, we lit the second candle of Advent, the candle of hope.
I don’t know about you, but I need a little hope in my life. Advent, with the darkness descending and the days growing shorter, always seems encourage me to be more melancholy, more easily saddened. The world, certainly, doesn’t lack in things that would cause myself or anyone to feel hopeless. In some ways, the world seems both crueler and kinder. This election has divided our country, with an uptick in hateful attacks (particularly on persons of color, women and the LGBTQ community), AND an uptick on acts of kindness for people of the same communities.
Being a person of hope, is not about an attitude of optimism that has not acknowledgment of the pain, the violence, the war and the hatred in the world. Those things have always existed. People of hope and of faith and of peace are called to stand strong in the midst of those realities that do not point to the reign of peace, of love, of grace and of justice promised. As Christians, we understand that reign comes to us best through the incarnation, Emmanuel, God-with-us.
I was glad to remind myself of that in worship on Sunday. It is what I really want for Christmas, to be a person of faith and hope. Here is the link from worship yesterday, it is the service that has “Hope” in the title.
May you know Hope this week as we continue the journey through Advent.