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.