Advent 1 - 2017

Advent is not about waiting for Christmas. Advent is a time of contemplation, prayer and introspection designed to keep us focused on first things despite "Christmas", or whatever craziness life throws your way.  

Advent is light in the darkness. It is our hopes and dreams for the fullness of God in our lives. Christians proclaim God present in that man named Jesus, and we do wait in remembrance for his birth. Yet, we also believe that all which is to be is not yet. So, strangely perhaps, on this first Sunday in Advent we read about Christ's second coming. Today we hear these words from the Gospel of Mark about a fullness yet to come. 

"But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see "the Son of Man coming in clouds' with great power and glory . . . " (Mark 13:24-37)

I don't know what language to use for this day yet to come, but I do know that our life - which is is still full of pain, injustice, privilege and greed - has not yet found all God would offer us. So, today we light a single candle to bring light to our darkness. We acknowledge our hopes and dreams for the more that is promised. There is nothing to fear in this, so we are bold to pray:

Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection awaken us to the threatening dangers of our sins, and keep us blameless until the coming of your new day, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.