By S. Jean Amore, Vice President for Mission and Academics
The theme of Advent is the theme of all spiritual people. We are always waiting, expecting and looking for God’s light in the dim places in our personal lives and in our world.
Sometimes readings in Advent focus mainly on repentance and on waiting for the Savior and Messiah to redeem us from our sins. Yet, the Jewish people of the Hebrew Scriptures and the early Christians had much broader expectations. The Savior is the one who comforts and heals us, rescues and unbinds us, enlightens us and lifts us up as well as wipes away our sins. The earthly life of Jesus was filled with his healing and compassionate acts; his treating outcasts and women with inclusivity, dignity and love; his breaking down cultural, religious and social walls that separate people; and his not only forgiving sinners, but also eating with them. This is what Jesus wants to do for us. Advent is a time of becoming more whole, a time of becoming all we want to be and all God wants us to be.
This Advent, let us believe and trust in the broader meaning of the season. Deep faith is a creative energy that opens us to participate in what God wants to do for us in our personal lives and through us in our broken world and fragile Earth. The weeks of Advent give us the time to ask: What are the dark places in my life that need God’s wisdom, uplifting and light? What’s not OK in me? What’s preventing me from feeling the love, unity and peace I want and God desires for me? Where do I fall short of witnessing God’s inclusive love, mercy and justice? To each of these questions, we say: Come, Lord Jesus, come!
God of every nation and people,
you have made known your light and love
since the beginning of creation,
and then to us through Jesus Christ.
This Advent, may we be open to receiving your light and love in new ways
and to witnessing in our world the unity, inclusivity, mercy and justice
that Jesus so desires of us.