We are more than half way through the season of Advent. Nights are longer, days are colder, and the lights in our homes shine brighter. If we have an Advent wreath, lighting candle after candle each week in our houses and churches, we are encouraged by their light. Hope, love, joy and peace are traditional meanings for each of the Advent candles. These can also be the gifts of healing that we pray for week after week. Hope to sooth our disappointments, love to heal our wounds, joy to lighten our days, and peace to sooth the ache of discord among and within us.
There are things we do in terms of preparing for Christmas, both externally as well as spiritually. Yet, in a way, Advent is something that God does. It is God’s initiative, His coming into the world. With Mary being pregnant, in Advent Jesus is already here, though not yet fully. Like Jonah was in the belly of the wale we are with Mary waiting for the fruits of our Advent.
Lord, what is it that You are doing this Advent (in my life)?
Taking time to ponder on this question may helps us notice God’s action, which is often subtle and gentle, like the first buds on the trees in springtime. We may notice movements in our heart and life that point to God.
More aware of God’s gracious action in our lives, we can also ask,
Is there someone who needs the light of hope, the light of love, the light of joy, the light of peace? Is God inviting us to visit someone with this light in Advent?
The Advent light evokes warmth, something we all need in our human interactions. We can cultivating this warmth, of love, of compassion, of peace, hope and joy by knowing that in our encounters with one another our inner candles are lit and encouraged to shine.
© Iva Beranek (Dublin, Advent 2017)
Photo by © Iva Beranek