Joy in Advent Sabbath Peace

Today we light the third Advent Candle Joy. Let us welcome Hope! Love! Joy!

It’s the Sabbath. Today it really feels true. Tonight we’re having an Anti-Gun-Violence Vigil. It’s such a solemn thing — such a needed thing. So much to learn. So much work to do. Too much death. And yet, even this will be a thing of beauty. There are religious folk from 6 different traditions and many denominations assembling tonight. There will words of reality, words of hope, words of dedicating ourselves to what is needed.

And yet the word for today is enjoying. And somehow we need to balance both. It is the holiday season, filled with memories and tradition and hopefully Joy.

Today I remember my year in Sweden and I treasure the family and friends I found there. So many lovely traditions that still linger in memory and sometimes grace my table or my tree or my winter windows. Lucia is one of them. She brings the promise of returning light.

Apparently back in the old calendar, the 13th of December was the solstice. Somehow they counted their days differently. Today families sing of Nighttime’s heavy plodding around the yard… and they fight that with Lucia princesses and star boys. And those wonderful, wonderful saffron rolls. Oh, yum. And I think that may have been my introduction to whipped cream in my hot chocolate rather than marshmallows. On the whole, a rather wonderful trade off!

And so my friends, find joy in this celebration of waiting in the Dark. Enjoy the parties and the connections and the traditions. Stop for a moment on the sabbath so you get to recall what this season is really about. And Peace. may it be with you. May you be with Peace.

Alternative Advent – December 13: 5¢ for every meal with meat this week. Vegetarian? How will you give today? Because the point is NOT to escape giving, the point is to feed kids. What richness do you have that others would be so happy for?