With all the craziness that is going on in the world where can we turn? So many things have happened that have left us reeling. Wracked by the Pulse shooting earlier this year and what St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman referred to as the “crazy and disgusting” election of this fall where can we turn? For grounding? For sanity? For another way? For a new vision? How do we access a future that is anti-violent? Can we imagine a reality that includes respect for all people regardless of identity? Where do we look for economic arrangements that are equitable and fair? How can we envision a sustainable relationship with Earth? What can heal the alienation, violence, ignorance, greed, and self-centered myopia that pervades society?
Basically good, well-intentioned, caring people seem at a loss about how to make a difference and how to respond.
Although he was born over 2,000 years ago, and his time and culture seem distant, remote, and foreign, Jesus still speaks to today’s passionate desire for a different world. Jesus challenged the assumptions, power arrangements, ingrained habits, religious authority, and cultural mores of his day and his message is still challenging today. He is a light for the path to peace, justice, healing, and reconciliation.
“The Light Still Shines” is the theme that was selected for the Advent Season at Lakewood United Church of Christ. The season will be an exploration of how Jesus is still light for the world. These daily devotions will reflect that theme.
As part of your Advent journey, you are invited to journal or jot down a few notes each day on the themes of light and darkness. For this first week, you are invited to think about where you see darkness in the world and where you see light piercing the darkness.
You are also invited to set aside an offering each day for the Micah Center which offers an after school program with homework help, literacy, math development and mentoring free of charge for children on the free/reduced lunch program in Pinellas County schools. If you don’t live in the St. Pete area, perhaps you will want to find a program or movement close to your heart that is shining the light and set aside a donation each day during the Advent season. Then on Christmas, you will have a gift for the baby Jesus that reflects his light into the world.
Prayer: In these dark days, may I trust that the light of Christ still shines. Amen.