I, for one, love this season. I love its liturgical color (purple), the gradually growing light of the candles on the Advent wreath even while the daylight grows shorter, and its invitation to slow down. I welcome its call to spend more time in prayer and devotional reading, and to become more attentive to what God has to teach us in the incarnation.
Like most of you, I have come to associate the celebration of Advent with concepts like waiting, being silent, and making room in our hearts to receive the Christ. But as I listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah, the one who brings the promise of God’s coming, it seems to me that in this season, we are also called to enlarge our vision and to allow our hearts to dream boldly.
Isaiah speaks of a world where wolves and lambs play together, and where children can play without fear of getting hurt, “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid...The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall play over the hole of the asp.” (From Isaiah 11.) This is a grand vision of God’s peace and justice working in our lives and in the world.
In this Advent season therefore, let’s allow some of the playfulness, and of the subverting power of God’s peace, that Isaiah holds out, to expand our own dreams for a community, nation, and world, where peace and reconciliation have the last word.
As members and friends of St. Matthew’s/San Mateo, the dream of a reconciled world will imply that we work with greater determination than ever before, to live out our values of welcoming, and standing with, the Latino immigrant community in our midst. This time feels really dark for these, our brothers and sisters, and we need to respond with compassion and let our lights shine for them,
In this holy season, as we await God’s coming to us in the flesh, I encourage all of you to light the candles of your advent wreaths, or to simply light a single candle. Let’s give thanks to God for Light of God’s love, and pray for ourselves and all those who are in danger, sorrow or any kind of trouble. And may God’s Spirit strengthen us to live out the dream of God’s peaceable kingdom.