Scripture: Isaiah 64: 1-4

Today is supposed to be the day we light the Joy candle.  How can we find Joy when we are grieving so much loss?  Like the prophet Isaiah, who saw glimpses of hope in the exiles return, we may wish for God to tear open the heavens and come down–to intervene in this world, to stop the madness and make things right! We long for us, ache for this, but know that this is not how God works.  As Christians, we know that when God entered the world, Word Made Flesh, God entered as vulnerable us as.  Instead of tearing open the heavens violently, God enters our violence, suffering and dying on a cross of execution by us who demanded his death.

But there is hope. Jesus conquers death in the resurrection. Jesus breaks through heaven not with violence but with life!  We have this hope: life is eternal in Christ.  We have this hope: God’s love encompasses us and carries us beyond death and beyond this world.  We have joy because we have hope in Christ.

We have walked in darkness, and this Advent, our darkness is deeper.  But there is light coming again.  We have this hope, and know that the hope of resurrection, new life in Christ carries us on, and we can share the light with the world.

Prayer: Love Eternal, we know that not even death can quench Your flame.  Burn brightly in us, so that we might share the Light of the World.  Give us hope, and give us courage and strength in this time, so that we might truly rejoice in You.  In the name of the Christ, who is coming, we pray.  Amen.

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