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Peace & Pieces - December 14, 2023

On Sunday we light the third candle in our Advent wreath. It is a rose-colored candle, and it symbolizes joy. This Sunday is known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word for “rejoice.” During the first two weeks of Advent we have reflected on the phrase, “The Lord is coming.” We have pondered the promise of waiting, the need for repentance, and we have embraced the peace of Christ as we receive the gift of absolution.

Now, we reflect on the reality that “the Lord is near.” This shift is marked by a lighter mood and a heightened sense of joyous anticipation. We await God’s coming not with fear, but with tremendous joy. As Mary proclaimed upon learning that she would bear the son of God, our voices too, will ring out:

"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

The experience of joy is similar to the peace that passes understanding. It can arise out. of nowhere and take us by surprise. It is deeper and more lasting than happiness, although harder to define. On Wednesday during our healing Eucharist when I turned to make my way to the altar, the beauty I saw took my breath away. The new Advent blue superfrontal (the covering on the altar) was just gorgeous, the lights on the greens around the wood paneling twinkled like morning stars, and the muted light filtering through the stained glass was quietly spectacular. The sight sparked joy deep in my heart and soul and I know it is a vision that will remain with me for years to come.

The Lord is near!

May we keep our hearts open to be surprised by joy as we await his arrival.

Pastor Lori+


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