December 2020… A pandemic that will keep masks on long after this year. December 2020… Calls for Justice, calls for connection. December 2020… A time to reflect on the ways we have changed and the ways we are changing. Advent is a time we do this religiously and spiritually.
Advent is here. Christmas is coming! Trim the tree, buy the presents, make the plans—are we staying in this year? There are many ways to take Advent: The shopping, the planning, the cooking, the time thinking of Christmas Past, Christmas Future…
Advent in the UU tradition is diverse: Our Christian sources have us preparing for the annual birth of Jesus. Advent comes from the Latin word “adventus” which means arrival. St. Jerome who translated the bible into Latin used adventus, as the translation of the Greek word, parousia (πάρειμι), which is usually translated as arrival or re-arrival.
We are preparing for the arrival of Christmas.
“On Christmas, Humanists celebrate family, community, and universal themes like peace on earth and good will to all people. We tell stories of mythic characters (like Scrooge, the Grinch, and many others) who, for a time, were lost to family and community but had powerful experiences that turned them around and brought them home again (UU World 12/2018).”
Our Earth based sources ask us to look at our planet, to look at the daylight and notice what is happening. The longest night is coming. The solstice marks a time when the nighttime is at abundance. This affects us, as creatures that are part of our ecosystems—we are part of this—the sun, the earth, the light, the cold… We see this in the rituals of Yule from Northern Europe, in the hot baths of Japan, and in the countless traditions world wide.
Our holiday events begin with the Yule Lighting in Bellville on Thursday 12/3. Chalica begins on 12/7—look for Facebook posts. We will also have an outdoor Christmas Eve service on the village green; we’ll socially distance and wear masks with a candlelight service.
I pray your Advent season is safe and maintains your health in all aspects: Physical, Mental, Social, and Spiritual. Merry Christmas Everyone! Happy Holidays!
— Rev. Will