The doorway into Advent must begin with tears, it must. So. many. have lost loved ones, just recently. Three in our own church, in the last 3-4 weeks! (Others in our extended family, others on our friends’ list…) They simply will not feel like having Christmas, at least a part of them. And as we look back over the years, it seems to have happened that way so often–people leaving us for a Better Celebration, just before Christmas.
Our own memories of last year are very difficult. If it wasn’t hard enough to be saying good-bye to our beloved pastor (favourite saying from that time: “The best thing about Paul, is that he is not dead”); we also had a beloved Boy who could not eat. He got so weak. They were scary days, and we’d prefer not even to think about them. But–remembering them helps us rejoice about the present! Sure, he won’t be able to have most of the treats that go ’round at this time of year, but he can eat!
How can we light a tiny flicker of hope, for those suffering such darkness at this time? To begin, just letting them know that we know they’re suffering. That’s why we must begin with tears. When you light that first candle of Advent, light it for them. Any pin-prick of light, is SO much better than none.
“My troubles turned out all for the best–
they forced me to learn from your textbook.”
(from Psalm 119)