Advent Week 1 - Proclaiming Hope

11.10.21 | Advocacy and Action
    First Sunday in Advent: Nov. 28 -  Proclaiming Hope

    Opening Prayer
    From the Revised Common Lectionary

     O God of all the prophets,
    you herald the coming of the Son of God
    by wondrous signs in the heavens and on the earth.
    Guard our hearts from despair so that we,
    in the company of the faithful
    and by the power of your Holy Spirit,
    may be found ready to raise our heads
    at the coming near of our redemption,
    the day of Jesus Christ. Amen.

    Scripture: Luke 21:25-36

    The feeling of being shipwrecked in the midst of life is enough to drain our very personality until there is little left to recognize. Where did the joy go all of a sudden? Where did the feeling of self-confidence disappear in the midst of this emptiness? Just yesterday life was clear and vibrant. Today it is endlessly bleak. The darkness is unbending. Nothing helps; nothing takes it away.

    There is no light here, we think. But we think wrong.

    There is a light in us that only darkness itself can illuminate. It is the glowing calm that comes over us when we finally surrender to the ultimate truth of creation: that there is a God and we are not it.  Then the clarity of it all is startling. Life is not about us; we are about the project of finding Life. At that moment, spiritual vision illuminates all the rest of life. And it is that light that shines in darkness.

    Only the experience of our own darkness gives us the light we need to be of help to others whose journey into the dark spots of life is only just beginning. It’s then that our own taste of darkness qualifies us to be an illuminating part of the human expedition. Without that, we are only words.

    The light we gain in darkness is the awareness that, however bleak the place of darkness was for us, we did not die there. We know now that life begins again on the other side of the darkness. After the death, the loss, the rejection, the failure, life does go on. Differently, but on. We rise to new light, new hope, calm and clear and confident that what will be, will be enough for us.

    This Week's Question 

    What does proclaiming “enough” look like for you today? This week? This Advent season?

    Cristin Cooper is the creator of Coop’s Soups – "belonging in a bowl."  She is a dinner church pastor who makes soup and shares an awesome way for people to make friends and fight off loneliness. She also serves as the BWC’s Terp HUB Coordinator at the University of Maryland.

    The artwork this week was created by  Kenny, age 8, of Mt. Carmel UMC in Frederick. 

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