Lighting of the Advent Candle
As we near the winter solstice, the final days of Advent align with the longest nights of the year. Darkness lingers late into morning hours and extends its gloomy reach into ever shorter afternoons.
We find ways to push back the darkness–our neighborhoods become highways of light, as neighbors bedazzle one another with Christmas cheer–lighted reindeer, Santas, sleighs, stars and glowing nativity scenes.
Our homes become refuges of warmth and light with Christmas trees and garland, candles and holiday cheer.
Our worship space, always a sanctuary, takes up the challenge, decking the halls with boughs of evergreens and lights. Worshipers and guests find welcome with festive lights and holiday trimmings.
With all the beautiful adornments surrounding us, the candles of the Advent wreath may fade into the background, one more decoration in an ever crowded holiday. These candles are much more than decoration. Each flame burns as a symbol, full of meaning, lit by our longing for the realm of God to be with us.
See the lights of Advent! With each candle lit we declare
Hope refuses to fade as we wait.
Peace will not be held back forever.
Joy will spring up out of sorrow.
And love, love will overcome hate.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.