The global experiences of this unusual year have changed the way we express ourselves. So much so that the publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary couldn’t choose just one Word of the Year for 2020. While pandemic and Coronavirus are obvious, look at others that rose to the top: Blursday (the blurry sameness of everyday); doomscrolling (reading online all the opinions/facts); social distancing and flatten the curve and the fun new ways we use remote to describe work and education.
I’ll add another: waiting.
Waiting has become one of the names of this pandemic game. We’re waiting for normal, for justice, for civility, for people to consider and honor the common good, for election results, for a vaccine, for schools and businesses to reopen safely, for empathy, for the time when we can venture forth without anxiety, for hugs, for a new year, for hope.
We’re waiting. Oh Lord, we’re waiting, and we’re fatigued from all the waiting. We don’t like waiting in general and this year we are certainly learning that lesson…among others.
Advent, which comes from the Latin word for “coming,” is the Church season in which we wait for God. We celebrate God coming to dwell among us in Jesus. We open our hearts to how God wants to come into our lives now. And we anticipate with hope our everlasting life with God.
I write about many things on this blog, stories featuring my family and friends and pets, creativity, travel, vegetarian recipes…all ways I experience everyday epiphanies regarding the miracles smack in front of my distractable eyes. This month I’ll focus on Advent, and I hope you’ll join me for the journey. On Sundays I’ll post daily readings; the readings for Sundays in particular are meant to accompany the lighting of candles in an Advent wreath. If that’s not part of your tradition, you can light any candle and follow along.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. –Psalm 139:11-12
Week 1 – The Light of Hope
November 29- December 5
Say aloud together: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Light the first candle (middle purple candle): We light these candles to celebrate Jesus, who comes into the darkness to shine the light of hope.
Read Scripture: Luke 1:67-80
(Shorter reading: Luke 1:67-70, 76-79)
Read: Praise be to our God, who sent prophets to remind us of His covenant of love, sustain our hope, and prepare the way for our coming Lord who will shine His light in our darkness and guide our feet to the path of peace.
Pray: Most High God, thank you for the gift of people who remind us of your great love. With hope we anticipate the birth of your Son, in whose name we wait and pray, Amen.
Monday Genesis 1:3-4 What does it mean to you personally that God has the power to create light out of darkness?
Tuesday Exodus 3:2-3 When have you seen God’s light appear in surprising places?
Wednesday Exodus 13:21-22 How does God’s light go in front of you?
Thursday 1 Kings 18:33-39 What big or small miracles have you witnessed that help you know that the Lord is God?
Friday 2 Chronicles 13:10-11 How might lighting a candle in your home remind you to honor and serve the Lord?
Saturday Psalm 19:8 How do God’s commands give light to our eyes? What does that mean for you today?