Faith

Advent Sunday #1

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I usually sleep straight through the night.
This is a grace, I know,
And I am thankful for the blessing.
To readers with restless legs and insomnia: I’m sorry.

But a few night ago I was startled awake.
I looked around frantic,
Trying to determine what had shocked me alert.
Half-awake, I roughly brushed my hand across the pillow: to clear anything or any-bug.

There were no bugs.
There was, instead, a single beam of moonlight,
Lighting up a circle of silver next to my head.
Maybe I had rolled into it in my sleep; and that’s how I woke up.

I rested my head again on the pillow.
I reached out my fingers,
Playing with the silver-dollar sized brightness.
And, in that moment, I thought about: God and Advent.

Today, Sunday, starts Advent.
Friday, though, started Black Friday
And Saturday for small-businesses,
And tomorrow for online dealz and on and on from there: festive chaos.

I love the bustle of the holidays.
Really, truly, I do–
Presents! Lights! Parties!–
Brighten my winter a little more, oh yuletide.

But the spiritual reality dives way deeper.
Here’s a question: do you ever feel alone?
Do you ever feel like you’re waiting for something?
The church knows. The church gives us Advent: hopeful expectation of a God-with-us.

Where is your heart right now?
Mine is probably kind of Advent-y,
Such is life as a young adult:
So many questions about the future, and trying to see God in all of it.

And that’s why, I think, I was so struck by the beam of moonlight.
In the darkness of the night,
There was a ray of light.
And it captured all of my attention: it was all that mattered.

Maybe hope looks like that.
In that moment, I didn’t think about that
My entire house was cloaked in darkness.
Rather, I could only look at, could only think about: the ray of light.

In the dark, it was a subtle reminder:
God gifts us with beautiful things.
God cares about us individually.
God holds us, plans for us, desires us.

Are these things true?
I guess I don’t really know,
I can’t prove to you any of this.
But, that’s what faith is for, that’s what trust is for, that’s what hope is for.

Where are you casting your hope right now?
What clouds are littering your clarity?
Where do you need the soft assurance of God?
I can’t promise the timeline of one ounce of heavenly consolation for you, I’m sorry.

But, I can say that God will come.
This is the season of Advent,
The time of hope and anticipation.
God wants us, God invites us…God will come.

This week’s theme is hope.
Remind yourself of this–
Look at art or sketch anchors or listen to a haunting Advent jam.
Then watch for moonlight, listen for love, and wait for God.

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