The Advent gift on Day 9 of Sharing the Joy comes from the Seeking Common Ground Circle.
Rev Tara Curlewis reflects on Advent 'as a festival of light'.
Light Shining Through the Darkness
The end of the calendar year in the northern hemisphere sees the shortening of the days and people long to see more light. In Australia while the days lengthen, and we journey through Advent we start to prepare for Christmas with homes adorned with many lights.
This lighting up of neighbourhoods each year brings a sense of joy, happiness and expectation. For us as a people of faith there is an added expectation that heightens in this season of Advent. That expectation of God acting while recalling the first Christmas with Christ’s birth as well as looking expectantly for God acting in our midst today.
Throughout the scriptures there are references to a time of darkness and then there is a change, the light comes or shines and people recognise afresh the goodness of God.
The Seeking Common Ground Circle is active in building relationships with other Christians and also seeing what we share with people of other faiths.
In late November I attended the NSW Parliament pre-Chanukah celebration. Chanukah is an eight day festival of dedication and light that recalls God’s provision when there was enough oil to light the temple menorah for one day and it actually lasted eight.
I like to think of the season of Advent as a festival of light. During the four Sundays of Advent many congregations look towards the light of Christ coming into the world and the lighting of candles representing Hope, Love, Joy and Peace.
A familiar reading for us is:
“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness
on them light has shined. ……. Isaiah 9:2
This year as you embrace the Advent festival of light, perhaps attending a church or community carols by candlelight service, perhaps singing the familiar carols, take a moment to recall God’s provision in your life.
Take a moment to recall how God has held you during this pandemic year through both short and long periods of lockdown darkness. Then identify the times when God’s hope, love, joy or peace has brightened your life.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life,[a] and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:1-5
This Advent receive from God renewed hope for the future and allow the light of Christ to light the way for your hopes and dreams to grow.
Pray for the light of Christ to always give you hope for a brighter future.
Pray that Christ may guide the church so that the people who walk in the darkness on them may God’s light shine.