Let Peace and Light Come Into the World
By Dick Perue
“The Gospel of John speaks of Christ as the true light coming into the world,” proclaims a church bulletin of by-gone years in announcing its inspirational readings for the Advent season.
The bulletin further relates, “In commemoration of that coming, we light candles for the four weeks leading to Christmas and reflect on the coming of Christ. It is significant that the church has always used the language – the coming of Christ – because it speaks to a deep truth. Christ is coming. Christ is always coming, always entering a troubled world, a wounded heart…”
During this time of Advent, we pass along these timeless excepts from this bulletin.
First Sunday of Advent
Candle of Hope
We light the candle of hope, and dare to express our longing for peace, for healing and the well-being of all creation.
Candle of Peace
We light it knowing full well that peace is elusive, and in some parts of the world, it is almost completely absent. Yet in this season of Advent, we trust that God is never absent from us… And even where there is war and discord, whether between countries, within families or within our own hearts, God is present, gently leading us to new possibilities.
Candle of Joy
Joy is all around us – in the children, the lights, the music, the gathering together. Joy is like an underground spring that wells up within us, but joy is also a choice, an attitude. So today we open ourselves to joy, trusting that God has already planted it in us. All we need to do is give it care and offer it to share.
Candle of Love
With this flame we signify the love of God that surrounds and fills us at all times, but that we recognize it in a special way in the Christmas story. There is no greater power than love. It is stronger than rulers and empires, stronger than grief or despair, stronger even than death. We love, because God loves us.
The Christ Candle
In Christ we find light and life, and the courage to be like Him, answering his call and following in his footsteps.
The bulletin concluded with the following prayer.
Come to us, Lord Jesus! Be born in us this night, in our hearts, our minds, our lives. May the light of your life be kindled in us, and lead us to the shining truth, of God with us, God for us, God in us. Amen.