Every year, I try to do three major writing projects. The Lent (Spring cleaning my soul) Project; the Remembrance (First fortnight of November) Project, and as the year winds down, the Advent project. A major project at work (that has been growing in scope and implementation since February) meant that I didn’t do the Remembrance project this year. I often feel overwhelmed if I do both Remembrance and then, hot on it’s heels, Advent project. So I hedged my bets and declined the Remembrance effort this round. I thought it would help me to fortify for a good preparation for the Advent project. But as I sit here with 5 minutes left in Advent Day 1, with hardly a post drafted (although I have reviewed past years posts, and made some notes in the Advent incubator file that I keep to help inspire the posts I’ll make for the rest of the month.
So, to the kickoff, then.
Advent is, for RC kids, the journey to Bethlehem and the nativity. It’s a joyful time of preparation, a time to look toward the light of our faith. We have a new priest at our church this year, and this is his first Advent with our congregation. He placed the Advent Wreath in the very center of the church – in the middle aisle, midway along the aisle. He said that this way, we don’t just look at it up front of the church. It’s not a spectator sport. We all turned toward the wreath as the priest lead the blessing and lit the first candle. Today is the first purple candle, symbolizing hope.
For the duration of the mass, the wreath was behind me – I couldn’t see it, but it still drew me in. The pool of light of one candle in the cavernous nave of our church isn’t going to touch everyone attending the mass. Still, I thought about how the candle was at the center of our faith community, literally, in the center of the church. I don’t have an advent wreath in my house, but some RC kids do. They would have lit the first candle tonight in their homes as well. And while the wreath in the church and the wreaths in people’s homes aren’t lit from the same shared flame, they do draw us into the same pool of Hope.
May I find the light of hope when I’m in a dark place, and may I amplify the light to help others find the hope they need.
For more thinkythoughts and Advent Reflections, see the 2018 Advent Project.