“Hey, everyone it’s time to shine,
make merry, show joy! Mid-winter doesn’t have to be bleak.” Maybe it was re-telling the story of the Littlest Angel, last Sunday. A story that mirrors the highs and lows of gift giving, hoping and wondering if “what I can I give Him” is good enough. Then, as the story unfolds realizing that whoever we are and whatever we offer, when brought forth out of love is not only good enough but becomes shining and beautiful in God’s heart and the eyes of the others around us. At least the eyes of those that have eyes to see the glow of it and the amazing value that matters when we and what we offer comes from a hopeful and true heart. Maybe it was finding a delightful little gift for a grandchild that I sensed would light up his/her heart because it uniquely matched what I was seeing happening in that child’s “becoming.” Maybe it was simply waking up this morning, pausing before getting up and recognizing some delicate feeling of peace warming me somewhere inside.
Hope, Peace, Joy, Love. Don’t know when these labels began to be attached to each Sunday in Advent. A name imagined for each candle to be lit in our Advent wreath. But it is brilliant – this slow steady quiet lighting moving us into, through and up to Christmas morning. A little more light in the darkness each week preparing us for what’s to be gifted, offered and then opened to us at the end of our season of Advent. Simple gifts each. Profound, deeply essential gifts for life. Hope, Peace, Joy, Love.
For me, maybe I just needed this slow, delicate procession of some little light re-lit in me by tiny but brilliant moments warming my insides again, nurturing some interior glow that would shed refreshed light along the journey we call life. It’s the idea perhaps that in order to get ready for something big and bright, we need to see and take in the little light filled times. Honor them, give at least momentary thanks for them. Allow their pinpoint of clarity to light up something inside of us. They warm us along the way. They help us see just how important light is for our well-being. Sometimes we need just enough light to grace the next step along the path. And step by step we come to trust that there will be yet one more step forward and enough light from a light filled Source to show us that next step with focus and clarity. Maybe we only come to understand that, this trust thing, in mid-winter times.
If the borders of this message show up on whatever you use as you read this message, you will see details of the exquisite tapestry pattern of the fabric that clothes the altar hangings at St. John’s. The beautiful interweaving of colors and shapes that compose what appears to be an overall pattern that has a unique vibrancy and motion to it. And I think of the Great Weaver, Interweaver, of the tapestry, the cloth of life, of each of our lives. The Weaver lovingly threading the strands our lives offer for the great loom. I think of the weaver holding the threads and slowly but surely moving them in and out up and down, interlaced with surety and deftness, an evolving creation.
I wonder if the threads of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love have unique colors, like the colors in any tapestry. I wonder how those colors appear to give richness, depth, texture and pattern to a life. I wonder if the lights of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love have the same colors as the brilliant colors in the light filled clothing of those houses along Monument Avenue I saw last night. Don’t we each have a deep longing, an essential desire for our life to have meaning, design and light about it. I want the threads my life has to offer the weaver to be something wonderful to work with. But whatever they are, dark or light, rich or poor, thick or thin, bright or soft, glad or sad, I want to trust that in the hands of the Weaver they may be made into something beautiful. Isn’t that what we all long for?
When Christmas morning comes, may you find yourself clothed in Hope, Peace, Joy, Love
and Light . . . .