by Rev. Brendan Curran, Assoc. Minister         –          Dec. 15, 2018

“What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” –John 1:2-5

We can’t find it by ourselves.  That’s the beautiful reminder of this season.  Finding, “the light of all people,” for which we wait to be revealed involves everyone coming together.  The nativity scene we wait to see illuminated by starlight reveals a picture of all people coming together and cooperating.  It took shepherds and kings, rich and poor, saints and sinners.  During Advent we help each other shine our lights together so we can see, “the light of all people,” all around us!

Every Monday evenings, the group of us that has been gathering for meditation have been lighting the Advent candles together each week.  To conclude our Monday hour of meditation together we always close with a sharing circle where those present have an opportunity to name something they’re grateful for in their lives.  For the weeks of Advent, as we have been lighting candles of hope, peace, joy, and love we have also been sharing where we are seeing these qualities emerging in our lives and in our community.

I find myself being grateful at this time of year to notice all the ways this church is actively seeking to bring God’s hope, peace, joy, and love to each other and our community.  During this holiday season our youth group collected gifts for a struggling Mom to make sure Christmas can happen for her kids.  Our Mission and Justice Committee also helped out struggling families by encouraging all of us to make the, “giving tree,” grow.  They also made sure cold hands are going to be warm these upcoming winter months with the “mitten tree.”  We are helping each other find moments of stillness and peace together to find God’s presence.  We are making sure loaves and fishes get to the places they are needed.  We are singing songs to people who can’t get out of their homes.    Eight of our youth are getting ready to plan their mission trip in April.  A few weeks ago Dale wrote in his blog how Christ was a migrant and that we serve Christ by welcoming and caring for those on the margins.  Just this past week, hundreds of members of our wider United Church of Christ were arrested in an act of civil disobedience, crossing the border alongside refugees, making sure they receive proper care.  They also crossed with a banner that said, “Love has no Borders.”  There are so many efforts being made by our church locally and abroad, to point out where we see the light of Christ coming into the world this Advent season.

When we live our faith as a local church and as the United Church of Christ, we discover light emerging out of complicated darkness.  When we put our faith into action we find that light together.  Truly when we shine our lights together and live our faith in action together we have the opportunity to discover our own lives, the lives of those around us, and the community of this world, transformed for the better.  At the moment we are still waiting for the light of Christmas, yet even while we wait, we can begin to see the light of all people showing up all around us.  And we help each other find it, together.

Love and Light this Advent Season,

Brendan