Now that Advent has concluded and we have moved officially to celebrating the arrival of Jesus, the beginnings of good news and joy for those looking for God’s reign to take root, it is time to reflect and pray to celebrate the good things God has done.
Throughout Advent, I reflected on the book Song of Songs and paired it with the traditional theme of each week: hope, peace, joy, and love. In that ancient poem about the intimate dance and love affair with Holy Wisdom, all four of those virtues and divine gifts can be found.
In Jesus, all four find their true home.
Read more "Christmas Prayer: A Song of Celebration"
This fourth week of Advent, the procession of longing reaches a crescendo in love. The whole season of Advent is characterized by hope, by waiting, by longing. We remember Israel’s longing for the LORD’s anointed who was to be many things to many people. We remember Mary’s long wait as a vulnerable baby slowly grew in the safety of her womb. We remember the history of saints through millennia of hoping for the long awaited appearance of Jesus to put the world to rights, and we continue to form that history as we hope.
Read more "Advent Prayer #4: A Song of Love"
This third week of Advent, we rise above the surface and inhale the sweetness of joy. As we near the winter solstice and the nights grow longer and the days grow colder, joy can be hard to see. This year, as in all years, the fear for our futures, the ever-present suffering of the people of the world, and sadness for what could have been and what ought to be threaten to obscure the gifts God gives even in the midst of life.
Read more "Advent Prayer #3: A Song of Joy"
The night is long, and we wonder where our hope has gone. This Advent, as in every year, we wonder how things could have gone so dark. The hoped for lover is still a hope, so we band together, because guarding against the terrors that wait in the night makes us feel alone.
This second week of Advent, we reflect on peace. Where in theory, we might hope in solitude for the future relief we seek, peace requires more of us. Peace is possible only when we make it, in the grace and power of the Spirit. Peace is possible only when we join together in forgiveness and grace. Peace is possible only when we guard not against others but when we guard the things that matter for us all.
Read more "Advent Prayer #2: A Song of Peace"
Advent is a beginning. It serves to begin the church calendar, guiding God’s people in remembering the greatest gift we have received: God’s very self given to us in Jesus. The weeks leading up to Christmas help us to prepare our hearts, souls, minds, and strength to be the family of God, ready to receive our elder brother.
Every year, we begin again, for every year the nights are dark and the seeds of new creation have not fully blossomed. As a family, we turn to each other for hope, to remind each other why we wait and how to be the beacon in the darkness for the hopeless and the oppressed.
Read more "Advent Prayer #1: A Song of Hope"