The following comes from our community’s planning for this Advent 2015 season. We share to inspire your own planning and journey through this sacred time of year.
Theme: Through Darkness to Light
We are People of Hope because we believe in both the Promise of Darkness with its capacity for germination, its deep fecundity; AND we believe in the Promise of Light with its capacity for wisdom, guidance, warmth and its ever increasing understanding.
Can we experience such a life giving cycle when Darkness seems to engulf our world? How are we planting seeds of Hope right now?
The people of Hebrew Scriptures and ourselves and all people, hope for the same things: lasting peace, sufficient food, tranquil lives and an end to suffering. Early peoples were afraid that when the darkness came that was the end. They came to appreciate the cycle of life…the days, the seasons… from experience. Can we experience such a life giving cycle when Darkness seems to engulf our world? How are we planting seeds of Hope right now?
Another question we are asking: How can we take Advent to our neighbors?
This liturgical year we use Cycle C in the lectionary. All Sunday gospel readings this year are from Luke. They are in a reverse-chronological order with the Second Coming of Jesus on the first Sunday and the Visitation on the fourth Sunday. The in between weeks are devoted to John the Baptist proclaiming the coming of the kingdom and the way to follow Jesus. John the Baptist points to Jesus, Light of the World, drawing us through the darkness (the shortest days of the year) to the ever-emerging light, all through the readings. We hear this theme repeated through the words of the prophets this year—Jeremiah, Baruch, Zephaniah and Micah. (This year we do not hear from Isaiah on Sundays as in other liturgical years.) The second reading on the Sundays from Paul’s letters encourage disciples to live in the way of following the Light of the World (Jesus.)
“The Promise of Light: Reflections for Advent and Christmas 2015.” (Personal devotional resource of Pax Christi USA) Individuals can reflect on the readings, the stories, and recall their own similar stories and encounters as well as receive an invitation to ask, “How might I be the “promise of light” in God’s world today?”