“…new life starts in the dark. Whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark
I hope you find yourself resting and relaxing in these days after Thanksgiving. The food has been eaten. The guests have gathered. Now find yourselves in the lull between activity and expectation. This Sunday ends our liturgical church year with Christ the King Sunday. It is a triumphant, victorious day where we are reminded that Jesus is the true King of Peace, the one we long for, who reigns victorious over all of our human afflictions- war, suffering, power, and greed. It also serves as an important reminder that Christ’s kingdom is not a far-off dream, a “maybe one day” type of place, but something that we are actively living into daily. As the body of Christ, we are active participants in the work that God is doing here on Earth. We breathe life into God’s kingdom by following the example of Christ the King.
And then, just like that, when the services end on November 26, you might say we are jolted into Advent with the hanging of the greens. Though Advent does not begin until December 3, I find myself already dwelling on that first week, thinking about what it means to look for the coming Christ. And while we are quick to want to jump into all the frivolity and joy of the season, I found myself sitting with the very concept of hope.
While the word hope can be used in one of those little phrases we throw out daily-
“I hope you have a good day!”, “Hopefully, we’ll see you soon”- there is tension that accompanies our experience of hope. Hope emerges out of a deep longing for something that has not yet come to be. Hope is the light that ignites while we are sitting in a darkness, experiencing a pain, or thinking to ourselves, “there has to be something different than this.” Hope is what keeps us going even when things seem to be going to hell around us. Sometimes we get our hopes up, only to realize an unraveling around us, but often, hope is that encouragement to see something new breaking forth in the darkness. I invite you to sit with me in this last week of ordinary time leading into Advent and dream of what we might see breaking through the Advent darkness.
With Love and Peace,