Dear Glen Morris United Church,
I hope that this letter finds you well. As I sit down to write this letter in the early evening in total darkness, I give thanks for the fact that the winter solstice is happening soon. I find hope in knowing that soon each draw will bring a little more sunshine. I find hope in the news that the covid19 vaccine has begun to be administered throughout the world, including here in Canada. And yet, I know that we still have many cold days ahead and that it will take some time before the vaccine will be made available to all. So I give thanks for these signs of hope and for a community to worship with as I wait.
As we draw nearer to this final Sunday in Advent, I would like to share with you one of the poems found in the “Those Who Dream” devotional. I hope you have enjoyed exploring scripture through prayer, poetry, and art this Advent season as much as I have. This week, we gather to worship and uplift the theme of Love and I hope you will join us - all are welcome.
Joy Like Water | Luke 1:26-45
written by: sarah are | sanctifiedart.org
Mary went to Elizabeth’s house,
Because that’s what we do
when the world falls apart.
That’s what we do when the script is flipped,
When the rug is pulled,
When it rains inside.
We go home.
We find friends.
We find love.
So Mary went to Elizabeth’s house,
Harboring good news that must have felt like water—
Something capable of helping her float or pulling her under.
And only then,
In the presence of a face that looked like love,
Does the word “joy” appear.
Mary said, “How can this be?”
The angel said, “Do not be afraid.”
Mary said, “May it be so.”
But when Mary went to Elizabeth’s house
And Elizabeth opened the door,
Joy—like a tipped cup of water—
Spilled out everywhere.
I imagine that Elizabeth laughed.
I imagine that Mary framed her growing belly.
I imagine that both women pressed palms to stomach
When that baby began to kick,
A holy ritual as old as time.
I imagine that God smiled.
And I imagine, that for the first time,
Mary could float.
Isn’t it always that way?
I could harbor joy to myself.
I could tuck joyful moments deep into pockets,
Saving memories of better days for long nights.
But when I share my joy with you,
When you open the door,
Joy spills out everywhere,
And it is love that helps me float.
May Hope show you the beauty and strength of resilience,
May you be baptized in the waters of peace that keep you strong and soft enough to face all challenges,
May Joy be our prayer of resistance to all injustice,
And may the Love of God, the peace of Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you this day and always.
Yours in Christ,
Please note that information about worship during Advent can be found here. Please join us for our Longest Night service, 7 pm on December 21, and for Christmas Eve, on zoom at 7 pm.
Following last week’s sermon, here is another perspective which makes connections between Mary’s experience of pregnancy as a marginalized woman and the many experiences of women all over the world (including here, in our own neighbourhoods).
As Christians, we know that to gather around a table is a blessing. However, during the Christmas season when many people celebrate with delicious food, the words we share about food can make people feel unwelcome or self-conscious. As a person of faith, I wonder, when it comes to breaking bread together, what does radical hospitality look like for us today? Here is one way we can ensure that when we gather around a table, we are making space for loving ways to talk about our bodies and each other.