First, let me say that I have heard from so many people about how meaningful and wonder-filled they found the Hanging of the Greens service last Sunday. I am very glad and thankful so many folks showed up, participated, led, helped prep, rehearsed and partook of the great and solid work the youth and children (and choir, and various adults) put into making something so meaningful and holy happen. I am also thankful for Zane, Greg and Kathy’s leadership on it.
Second, is it really already December? I know, Advent started on Sunday. It’s ten til five as I write this on Tuesday (sorry for missing the deadline, David!) and it’s almost dark out. And darkness is something there’s a lot of, or so it seems to me. As fall happened, I’ve heard a few folks in my life say, “Thank God, September is over,” and a few more chime in later with “Oh, man, October needs to end,” and then, even more join in on the chorus of “November has to finish soon, right?” There’s so much violence, there’s so much conflict, there’s so much anger and hate, there’s so much in this world that needs redeeming. Restoring. Resurrecting.
Advent is the season of light. It takes place over the darkest part of the year. Each and every week, we add one more light to our wreath—hope will be joined by peace this Sunday, followed by joy and then love—as we prepare and examine our lives separate and connected, and the world, in preparation for Christ, Christ’s mission and Christ’s grace present now and always. Remember, the light shines on in the darkness—and the darkness does not overtake the light.
This Sunday, I’ll be back in the pulpit, preaching peace. Not just the absence of conflict—peace is never just the absence of conflict—but the intentional cultivation of hope and justice that creates Peace, that share Peace, that spreads Peace, that makes peace shine on. I look forward to seeing you Sunday, if not before.