One of the most powerful parts of this year’s Advent ritual is that the procession is long. Each week there are many people coming forward to adorn the altar area. We didn't want one or two people to represent the rest of the congregation. We wanted the congregation to take part. And so each week a long line of people join with the worship leaders, quietly and reverently come forward accompanied by the ringing of bells.
The gospel for the day was John the Baptist reminding us that he is not the light but he is one of many (including us) who bear witness to the Light - Jesus. How do we point to the Light when the world seems so full of darkness? I encourage you to read the sermon from Sunday here. It so beautifully voiced my heartache over the violence of the last few weeks in our nation's cities and the lack of compassion and civility that has followed. For me, the sermon pointed to the Light. It comforted me, challenged me, and called me out - just as Jesus does.
I wonder: where in my life am I bearing witness to the Light? One thing I do not question is who is with me. It is the long line of people bearing the light in the procession - not just the physical procession from Sunday but the intentional and constant forward moving procession towards the love of Christ with the people in my life who bring me along when I am in the dark and who let me accompany them when the darkness is theirs. What a gift!
This Sunday the sanctuary was full of light: 3 candles on the Advent Wreath, tea lights from the procession, candles on the altar...and...most importantly, the light of Christ shining bright and pointing us back out into the world.