During the season of Advent give your heart to love today, not to old thoughts of who you were, but to the new idea that your kindness could change another life. Give your mind to hope today, not to the usual list of impossibilities, but to a single faith that goodness is today, And the prophet said: for unto us a child is born. That is the message. (1)
As we went through the Advent journey, we became aware that each candle begins to provide light in the darkness just as Our Lord provides light to a dark world. Jesus is the light of the world. These four weeks of Advent have been leading up to this, the birth of the one who brings Hope, Peace Joy and Love to the world. These four weeks are a new beginning, like a new year, it can be a new start, a new challenge. For unto us a child is born, not born to the privileged few but born for everyone, the poor, the forgotten, the hungry and destitute. The birth of this child is Hope, Peace Joy and Love.
Through the lessons of Advent, we heard about John the Baptize whose message was to prepare yourselves for the arrival of the Messiah. In his message he emphasized that things are not all about you. We need to think of others, protect each other and be there if there is someone in need. And as we read the Advent 4 gospel we find a blessing in Mary’s Song. A gift that shows God’s love to who was a simple everyday young girl. So, as you read Mary’s song read it with your heart and feel the feelings Mary had.
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”
The entire season of Advent prepares us to allow Christ into our hearts, sometimes in ways far different from other times when we celebrate the “excitement of December.” The excitement of December for the last two years has been far different then what we were used to. 2020 Advent and Christmas services done virtual, this year Advent and Christmas services are done with limited attendance with masks and communion in plastic cups. But in reality, time tells us each year ought to be different. We are not the same. We are faced with different responsibilities, moved by different insights, changed, by circumstances we didn’t have before, challenged by fresh opportunities and different memories, equipped with increasing or diminishing capacities for coping with all these variations. So, we never should think Advent will be celebrated exactly the same way each year. This year in our Advent celebration at Hope Church we celebrated St. Lucy’s Day. A new addition to our Advent journey. So, what things do stay the same? To start with God’s love is consistent year after year. The promise of eternal life doesn’t change. And another thing that doesn’t change is the need of others, whether it is spiritual need or need for food and warm clothing, that need is always there. In the light of the Spirit of Christmas and the entire year we need to provide help to those in need. Let us remember Christmas is not just a one-day event, we need to have the spirit of Christmas all year. Let us go forth into the world of HOPE, PEACE, JOY AND LOVE and share with others the wonderful gift given to us. The Birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Peace be with you this Christmas season and throughout the entire year.
(1)Charleston, Steven. The Medicine Wheel (p. 56). Red Moon Publications. Kindle Edition.