Dear beloved Passing the Peace Readers,
If it weren’t for the snow we had earlier this week it would be very hard for me to believe that we have arrived at the beginning of Advent. Advent’s name is derived from the Latin adventus meaning coming or arrival and is considered the start of the Christian calendar (Happy New Year!). It is a season of anticipation and waiting and for us living here in the Glen, this pairs perfectly with the stillness of Creation, taking a moment of pause as we head towards winter.
However, for many of us, this time of year is associated with an unapralleled level of things to do. This is the season of festivities: workplace gatherings, friends reuniting, families sharing meals, concerts, winter markets, and so much more.
These moments of celebration and connection help make the cold of winter a bit warmer but what I often hear is how challenging it can be to exist in a state of “holiday happiness” for an entire month. Sometimes holiday cheer can feel like a spotlight on the ways we aren’t feeling cheerful. Sometimes the partying gives us a feeling of emotional whiplash or disconnection when these spaces make us feel like we can’t talk about how much suffering we are seeing in the world or the challenges we’re facing in our own lives.
So this Advent, we’re asking: “How does a weary world rejoice?” How do we root ourselves in the hope, peace, love, and joy that are so vital to living out our faith, and cultivate what nourishes and inspires us in ways that allow us to acknowledge the weary and worn out parts of ourselves? I’m looking forward to exploring these questions with you this Advent season.
May the peace of Christ be with you,
Yours in Christ,
PS, we have many great resources to share with you to explore this Advent theme. Please be in touch if you are interested in a devotional booklet (hard copy or available in an online format), children’s learning materials, and more!
Artwork: What Wonder Turns Into by Lisle Gwynn Garrity