It was such a pleasure to be able to listen to the first sermon for the Rev. Dr. Karen Dimock at St. Andrew's Ottawa. This is the First Sunday in Advent and we lit the Hope candle. The light burst forth and provided illumination for a while. I liked it when Karen said wherever there is laughter there is hope. The ability to laugh in the midst of our foibles is witness to God's presence - perhaps that is why I love to laugh!
There is beauty in the candle flame yet it is fragile - one small puff of air can blow it out. Hope can be like that for many; just when they feel they have turned the corner something else happens to squash that sense of hope.
Karen also pointed out that when we look at a candle it can make us more aware of the darkness around it and not the light. We need to focus on that half-full cup!
Christmas is often a time that opens up old wounds or hurts and makes our hearts cry. As in Isaiah 64:1-9: "Oh that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou wouldst come down, that the mountains might flow down at they presence."
We need Hope for all parts of our life journey, Advent is the beginning of our journey at St. Andrew's with Christmas at the start of the year! Church time is not linear but circular with endings merging with beginnings. Our hopes and fears come together. For some they may feel God's absence more than His presence.
How will we take this message of Hope with us this week? Will we grumble less? Will we reach out to someone? Will we laugh a little more?
As we are vulnerable so is a flame - so is Hope. Yet that same flame is strong as others are lit from it.
We are blessed to have Karen with us this Advent as she begins her journey with us.