Today is the fourth Sunday of Advent. Advent is a time of waiting, expectantly, hopefully, for the arrival of someone or something. Many Christians await the Second Coming of Jesus but settle for Santa.
Advent comes around every year and is quickly swallowed by Christmas. But this year is different. This year Advent hit the jackpot.
THE VACCINE IS HERE!
The Advent of the Vaccine is the greatest news since the Birth of Jesus!
Do not be afraid. Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy for all people. For unto you this day in the city of David—and ten thousand other sites—a vaccine is borne.
Shepherds tending their flocks by night hoist their masks and shout: Glory to God in the highest!
And then I heard the angels exclaim, ere they flew out of sight, Merry Christmas, Joseph!
Joseph?! What about Mary?! What about Jesus?!
And then I saw the angels’ meaning. Joseph can be Joe. Of course!
MERRY CHRISTMAS, JOE BIDEN.
And, of course, that too is an advent to celebrate.
The advent of normality.
The advent of stability.
The advent of adults, diplomats, scientists, wise men and women arriving at the White House bearing facts, understanding, and goodwill.
JOY TO THE WORLD!
Tonight I will gladly light the candles of faith, hope, joy, and peace.
I will celebrate the advent of a new president. I will celebrate the men and women who counted the votes. I will celebrate the advent of the vaccine. I will celebrate the men and women who brought it to us.
Faith, hope, joy, and peace. Indeed!
But Advent is not over—there’s still four days to Christmas. Tonight I will remember those who walk in darkness. I will remember 316,000 COVID deaths in our country and the millions who grieve them.
Alas, this year many—so, so many—face a blue Christmas. Nothing can console. Twinkling lights can’t. Carols can’t. Candles can’t. A vaccine can’t. (It’s too late for the dead.) Tonight and for many nights to come, millions will trudge through the godforsaken valley of the shadow of death.
So tonight we light the candles of faith, hope, joy, and peace for those who can’t. It’s not much. But it’s something.
There’s no vaccine for sorrow. There’s only companionship.
Be not afraid. You are not alone. Friends and neighbors walk beside you.
And where love is, God is.
See Paula’s floral design on the home page.
The candle burns ever so bright this year as the Darkness is Deep. And let the toil and struggle of Jesus be our Guide for the work that lies ahead, for Darkness cannot live on its own but thrives by consuming the Light. So we all must strive in both our Inner Life and Outward Life defend and grow the Life, Hope, and Love that has been brought to us this Advent. Thank you for this Remembrance. Joy to the World
“The advent of adults, diplomats, scientists, wise men and women arriving at the White House bearing facts, understanding, and goodwill.“ Amen ??
A clear and poetic translation of the meaning of Advent into today’s real world reality.
Amen. I’m looking forward as well to Inauguration Day, when “Presidential Intelligence Briefing” will no longer be an oxymoron.
Best Christmas message ever. Thanks.
With millions of us who light candles nightly, we bestow a holy, loving presence for those immersed in the deep darkness of grief. It is the light of silent companionship so that, when ready, they will find their way back. Darkness this time of year is a safe place to befriend grief, and the light in the dark sanctifies it. May all who suffer this Christmas season experience the peace that “passeth understanding.”
This Advent, so poetically deciphered here into present tense: light joys gratefully named and dark sorrows consciously remembered…collectively we say “Amen”?
“Be not afraid. You are not alone. Friends and neighbors walk beside you,” reminded me of all the blessings of good friends that I do have. My friends, neighbors and family have all helped me “trudge through the godforsaken valley of the shadow of death” and I am ever grateful for them.
I treasure the settling of Santa for Jesus. How true. And the connection to Joe… for so many that return to normalcy we do crave. Yet still there looms that darkness of lives lost and more to come before the vaccines can protect us. And there also looms the darkness of division that is fueled daily. How do we become one again, or at least begin to realize this is not a zero sum game in which all that you have depletes what I have. Truly when we work together there is more than enough to go around.
It was great to see all the candles lighted and read the Hope you wrote about. When we think of the Vaccine I Hope we don’t forget the numbers of people dying from hunger. I think it is more than from the Virous and we already have a fix for it. Merry Christmas