With Thanksgiving & the month of November behind us, we now step into December & the season referred to as Advent, which means “new beginning”, which is something we all need right now.
In the month of November, heading into Thanksgiving our focus was on the challenge to express gratitude amidst the suffering, uncertainty & feelings of hopeless despair we struggle with in the darkness of these days. We do live in a dark time right now with the pandemic, the conflict & the indisputable injustice that seems to surroundus. It can be a challenge to see any light at this time. However, it is important to remember that we are not alone in this darkness. God is with us & has promised notto leave us. We cannot break through this darkness alone. We need God with us in order to bring healing to this world. Our hope lies in God alone, who comes to us through the gift of His Son, who is & forever will be, the Light of the world. He isthe true Light to this dark world & the darkness will never overcome His Light. Wecan put our faith, trust, & hope in God for His love is steadfast. In Him lies thehope & healing for a broken world.
With Thanksgiving & the month of November behind us, we now step into December & the season referred to as Advent, which means “new beginning”, which is something we all need right now. We read in the book of Galatians 4:4, “that when the fullness of time had come, God would send his Son in order to redeem us so that we might receive adoption as children of God.” And so, the first season of Advent, the season of active waiting for God’s promise to be fulfilled began. For generations, the people of God actively waited in the darkness of their days in anticipation & hope for the fulfillment of what the prophesies foretold. They believed the prophets when they said that God would fulfill His covenant promise with His people with the coming of Emmanuel (God with us) in the form of Jesus, transcending but including all humankind. The people waited in faithful anticipation believing that in God’s time, light would break into the darkness & healing would be given. The prophesies proclaimed that God’s Son would be the Light of the world, the true Light that would give hope, peace, Light & life to all people in the dark broken world. We read that as they went through the living of their days in darkness, actively waiting, focused on hope, suddenly an angel of the Lord broke through their darkness announcing the birth of the Light of the world & the world was changed forever.
As believers in the year 2020, we know the reality of story of the birth of Jesus. We know that He is the source of our hope & our salvation, the true Light of the worldthat can overcome the darkness. He is God with us. The foretelling of the righteous reign of the coming King, has been realized as stated in Isaiah 9: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; & He is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God; Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, & there shall be endless peace. He will establish & uphold it with justice & with righteousness from this time onward & forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this”. It is from a retrospective view that we wait on the Lord in preparation for the celebration of the birth of our Savior. Symbolizing the gift of true healing light & life that He brings to the world, we observe the season of Advent with candles that light the way to the manger. Each candle symbolizes the Hope, Peace, Joy & Love of God as we remember, & receive God’s gracious gift given on that holy night & renew our faith in Him. As we all continue to journey through the darkness that we are now experiencing, in this season of new beginnings we invite you all to light one bright candle each day symbolizing the Hope, Peace, Joy & Love that is given & to use these days of waiting to reflect on God’s gracious gift of His Son to us & all that this Child of Peace means to us.
~Posted by Rev Kathryn Bindig, MDiv. MS; Pastoral Care Minister with assistance from Rich Muscatello; Director of Business Development & Strategy
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