What is advent if it is not a time to believe and wonder again?

What is advent if it is not a glimmer of hope in the womb of dark and struggling times?

What is advent if it is not the miraculous union between humanity and the divine?

What is advent if it is not the annunciation of new and redemptive life being born from within our very bosom?

Today the church is born again. We light the first advent candle of hope sending its light into all the world.  These times need the gift of hope.  Those who carry serious illness need this advent hope.  Parents and grandparents grieving the tragic loss of their son and grandson need this advent hope.  People burned out of their town in California need this advent hope.  Migrants driven from their homeland and denied opportunity for asylum in our country need this advent hope.

I would like to believe that our divine creator still makes surprising visitation to unawares throughout this world.  I would like to believe that God is conceiving new light and life even as I speak – light and life that restores a sense of goodness and peace and love and well being in these days, just as God did in THOSE days.  

Our interactive worship station for advent created by annie, Medora, and Mindy, invites us to consider role of Mary amidst the Christ story.  The presentation invites us to consider her acceptance of carrying the seed of divine hope in her world.  And how her act of acceptance was like one drop into the vast sea.  One drop that created an endless ripple of hope, and peace, and healing in our world.  

God visited Mary because she was lowly, because she was vulnerable, because she was powerless, because she was … willing to receive a drop of new humanity of servants, of healers, of community builders, resource sharers, peace makers, hope givers, wisdom keepers, faithful prayers…  God visited because the world needed and Mary received because she was willing. 

What is advent if it is not the time for this God-visiting and people-receiving the little drops of redemption that will ripple out into our world today.  God visit the humble and homeless ones in Tijuana.  God visit the broken hearted parents and grandparents who grieve their children, God visit the burned out homeless grieving people in California, God visit the frightened and vulnerable bearers of disease.  God visit, break through, shine light, bring peace, lift the lowly and scatter the proud because that is what advent is all about.

Today the church is born again.  We are barren before God and our world.  We arrive here bearing the losses and griefs and fear and division and sickness and darkness of these days. We arrive here because here is where we receive fresh drops of hope and goodness for our world.  We arrive here because God wants to visit us and conceive in us new life.  New life bearing peace and love and justice.  We arrive here because this is where our journey has brought us and it is here where God will be with us and save our world from the ways of darkness and grief and injustice.  

What is advent if it is not the time to make way for the coming of the Lord and the new and beautiful and redeeming drops of hope, and compassion, and kindness, and community?  What is advent? It is the time when God conceives new life in a world grown dark and cold.  Like Mary, let the church say, Yes, be it done unto us according to thy will.”