Mother Laura at RevGalBlogPals writes:
Can you believe that in two days we'll be halfway through Advent? Gaudete Sunday: pink candle on the advent wreath, rose vestments for those who have them, concerts and pageants in many congregations. Time to rejoice!
Rejoice in the nearness of Christ's coming, yes, but also in the many gifts of the pregnant waiting time when the world (in the northern hemisphere, at least) spins ever deeper into sweet, fertile darkness.
What makes you rejoice about:
I think sometimes our greatest joys and anxieties come from waiting. In Advent, the waiting for the arrival of the Christ child is filled with lots of hope and promise.
I live in Washington State and the days here really do get short. We hit the Winter Solstice (The Longest Night of the year) on December 21st. The thing that I rejoice in with darkness is that it is bearable and it doesn't last forever. I always think of Chiaroscuro and how without both light and dark, there would not be contrast to create depth in paintings and photos. Darkness is not always to the most comfortable or fun place to be, but God is with us and will help to lead us back to light.
Winter makes us slow down. If it is cold and rainy (or snowy), you can't go outside and work on your house or in your yard--you don't even think about those things. So you kind of have to slow down in winter and, for me, it is a good time for reflective thinking and praying.
I rejoice that Advent helps us to remember the sacred in Christmas. I had some folks requesting more Christmas songs in worship...to which I responded, "it's not Christmas yet." The retailers have been telling us its Christmas since late October, but in the church we recognize that we have to wait. And waiting for Christ's arrival is much like waiting for God's guidance in our lives--we cannot rush it or make it fit as we would like to in our own schedules--it comes in God's time.
5. Jesus' coming?
I'm about to dive into my sermon for this week (based on the Isaiah text) and one of the things I grapple with is living in the tension of what we hope for in Jesus' coming and the sad reality of the world around us. Frankly, I never fully rejoice at Christmas because I can never fully forget the suffering of those in my community, country and in other places around the world. So I hope the someday, through Jesus, things will be as they should.