The natural habitat of Advent is a community of hurt. It is the voice of those who know profound grief, who articulate it and do not cover it over. But this community of hurt knows where to speak its grief, toward whom to address its pain….And because the hurt is expressed to the One whose rule is not in doubt, the community of hurt is profoundly a community of hope.
Advent is a season of waiting and preparation. Each year we come to the season of Advent and remind ourselves the pace of the Christian year is markedly at odds with the frantic holiday culture around us. This year feels different. 2020 has been a year defined by waiting—waiting for a bending of the curve, for restrictions to end, for test results, for 14 days of quarantine, for life to get back to normal, for election results, for a vaccine. We’ve done so much waiting this year; it is difficult to find motivation to wait more.
This Advent, let’s approach the season from another angle. Yes, we wait in anticipation for the Christ Child. But let’s dig deep into our faith for the Spirit’s wellspring of hope.
Each Sunday in Advent our worship will begin with the song, I Believe in the Sun. The lyrics are based on a story told to the BBC by a captured German soldier in 1945, who recalled that the words were found scrawled in a shelter in Cologne, where young Catholics were keeping some Jews in hiding during the Holocaust.
I believe in the sun — even when it is not shining.
I believe in God — even when [God] is silent.
I believe in love — even when it is not apparent.
We are living through a season in which it takes courage to hope. Let us be a people who resist the pull of despair. In times of hurt, we can be a “community of hope” and a light to the world.
With hope and faith,
A native of Illinois, Rev. Nancy Gowler lived for 26 years in the Pacific Northwest. She joined the ministry of First Christian Church in Morehead, KY, in July of 2020.