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December 5 – 2nd Sunday of Advent

December 5 – 2nd Sunday of Advent

A Moment for Mission

“Because of our God’s deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us, to give light to those who are sitting in darkness…, to guide us on the path of peace.” — Luke 1:78-79, CEB

I drive to work in the dark many mornings during this time of year and often return home after sunset. Most of the leisure activities I enjoy—walking, running, birding, and fishing—are daytime pursuits. I prefer light to dark.

Day by day in December, the time grows closer when the increasing darkness becomes a receding darkness, and the light begins to win against the night. The winter solstice is approaching, the day of the year with the shortest period of daylight and the longest period of darkness. After December 21, each day will grow a little longer as the light reclaims the day. I look forward to the shift.

In an Advent devotion, I heard a pastor say that “light and dark rub against each other during this season.” I like that phrase. Every day in the news—at home and around the world—we see images of light and dark rubbing against each other.

As John writes his story of Christmas, he refers to Christ as “light.” In Christ, “the true light that shines on all people was coming into the world” (John 1:9, CEB). He makes the bold statement that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light” (John 1:5, CEB). We light an additional candle each week in the Advent wreath, bearing witness to the coming of light to push away darkness.

I pray God’s blessings upon us as we celebrate the birth of Christ, the advent of the light.

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, thank you for sending Jesus, the light of the world. May we be light-bearers, offering hope, peace, comfort and joy to your children everywhere. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Second Sunday of Advent — God of mercy and grace, we pray that the gifts we offer this morning might be used to bring some compassion to the chaos that is our world. We give these gifts in love, hoping they will heal some of the hurting; and as they do, make the crooked road straight for the coming of the Christ. May the hills that separate us from sisters and brothers be made flat and may the valleys of our isolation be raised up, so we will be ready to welcome the Christ as one. In that holy name, we pray. Amen. (Luke 3:1-6)

Newsletter Nugget
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” Those words by Albert Camus attest to a nascent longing for the light, even among those who do not view the world through the lens of faith. We, as disciples of Christ, have a name for the light. In Christ is life, hope, love, peace, justice and grace that push against every form of darkness.

During Advent, I’m full of appreciation for the pastors, the congregations, the ministries, the people who belong to our communities of faith, and the people we seek to serve. I know that ministry is not easy. I do not take the good efforts and hard work of our people for granted. Each day throughout the year, disciples formed through the ministries of our faith communities arise to push away a little more of the darkness and to celebrate the everlasting promises of light.

How will you celebrate Advent? How will you share the light of Christ?

Adapted from “Everlasting Light,” Bishop Robert Schnase, Rio Texas Annual Conference, Dec. 19, 2017. Used by permission.