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The First Candle of Advent 2023 - Hope


Therefore, keep awake--for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake." (Mark 13: 35-37)

A central theme of Advent is expectation, realized by hope. Therefore, it is not accidental that the time of Advent is marked by lighting candles. Each Sunday of Advent we move forward in time, lighting another candle of expectation, starting with hope. We bring a little more light into the darkness, a little more light to help us see our way forward.


In the earliest years of Christianity, Advent emerged as a time to prepare for Christ's Second Coming. Over two thousand years later, we continue to wait. But now we have what those early Christians did not have -- hundreds of years of the presence of Christ in the world, in the form of the Spirit of Christ and in the physical form of His Church.


But just like those early Christians, including the ones who Mark was addressing in this own time, we are still in a time of expectation, of hope. We are called to keep awake so that we might experience the spirit of Christ in our world, that we might be ready for whatever Christ calls us to be and to do..


As individual Christians and as the church, we are not only called to be ready to follow Christ in our lives, we are called to bring hope to a weary world. So, as we enter Advent, keep awake! Keep hope alive in this weary world. Be ready to respond to the living presence of the Lord. Be ready to be a beacon of hope, a living candle of advent.


Keep Awake


It is time to watch

To be ready

Be ready for something to happen

Something extraordinary

But expect it to come as life comes

The unfolding of creation

Exhale

Inhale

Take in the coming

Keep awake


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