Our Worship Theme of the Month is Hope. But first: what is the big deal about Advent? It basically means, “coming toward” Jesus, and solicits our preparation. Before Jesus, people for millennia observed these weeks as “coming toward” the longest night of the year, Winter Solstice. Later, there was a Festivus for the Rest of Us (Book of Seinfeld), but no matter how you celebrate your holidays this time of year, these next three weeks offer a deeper spiritual experience, should you choose to listen to the still, small voice inside.
This is a time to look inward, in a fashion that works for you – maybe it’s a time to meditate while you knit, take long walks, or clean your home. Or just meditate. Maybe it’s a time to dust off the project you neglected all year long, so that some hidden, neglected part of you can become dynamic and healing once more.
The premise of this is organic in origin – we are less active in the world in the darker, colder portion of the year. It encourages solitude and the invitation to envelop ourselves in a nurturing cocoon, where our deepest dreams and hopes for ourselves and our world might become more known to ourselves, as these energies ferment into a kind of “nectar of power” that is spiritually based and, after Solstice/Christmas/Festivus, gives us strength and enthusiasm for our pursuits in the New Year.
The idea is that only through embracing the darkness of the season may we come to know the light, as it returns and we are better equipped to actually let it in, illuminating the relationship between our most noble and higher purposes and the challenges of life as it is. This is the hope of the season, the hope Advent offers.
In our modern world, we neglect the divine spark within each of us. This is the time of year to open that long-shut door in some dark corridor of our soul, to release the child within – not merely in joyous frenzy – but in the quiet ways too, like when the child, in speechless awe, observes the wonder and the miracles that occur in nature, and within her or his own heart, mind, and spirit.
It is the love that only exists within, always waiting for our “coming toward.”
See you in church!
– Rev. Hannah