Today we light the third candle of Advent,
a single flame dances in the midst of darkness.
The light shines in the darkness, and
the darkness has not overcome it.
What dances in us this morning?
What joy shines brightly in our darkness?
What evergreen life encircles us
this winter, what unending love?
Advent is a season of preparation, yet how
quickly our preparation turns to consumption.
All our energy spent in giving, none in
remembering how to receive.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel.
Quiet our minds. Open our hearts
to the joy you desire to give.
In the name of our Triune God,
Holy in One, amen.
We invite you to hear from the Gospel of Luke 4:4-7.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The Good News of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.
Homily and Reflection
Who are those in our lives that we might need to embody gentleness towards?
How might we hold the tension of practicing gratitude in the midst of difficult circumstances?
Giver of all, a poet once wrote that you are
invisible, but holiness – that is visible entirely.
Is this the meaning of your command –
“Let your gentleness be known to all”?
Many of us may not think of holiness
as a quality we possess within, but instead
something inherently found in the world.
As natural and unceasing as breath.
It could be breath. It could be a pink sunrise
ribboning the early morning darkness.
The belly laugh of a child….
How life calls and calls out what
you said next: “The Lord is near.”
Vox community, may you go forth this week
immersed in the nearness of the Lord.
May you find safety, joy, and rest.
In the name of Emmanuel, God with us.
Go in peace, and live the church.
May you find belonging and community this week.
[Photo by Levi Frey]