93, 96, 148, 150
Isaiah 33:17-22 Revelation 22:6-11, 18-20 Luke 1:57-66
For many of us, the winter months can be associated with both joy and grief. The holiday season can be a time for decking the halls or holding the new baby in the family. It can also be a time for mourning, stress, and conflict.
Ancient wisdom can help us navigate the seemingly disparate emotions of joy and grief. The winter solstice, when the earth’s axis is tilted the furthest away from the sun, makes the days shorter and the nights longer in the northern hemisphere. Historically, Indigenous peoples have celebrated the winter solstice as the time when the sun is reborn. Today, we can also recognize our connection to the natural world which can connect us to the deeper rhythm of the universe. Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of the culture shaping book Women Who Run with Wolves, described this rhythm as the life-death-life cycle. New beginnings will have endings which will give birth to new beginnings all over again.
The readings for advent today have similar themes: promises of salvation in the midst of pain and anguish, a call for justice, and an emphasis on hope. The authors acknowledge both joy and grief, anger and hope, fear and security. When we can trust the One who is the original designer of the pattern, we can find rest.
Source of all Love, show us the magic in stillness. Give us courage in our grief and patience in the advent of our joy.
Listen to Maria read her Advent meditation and prayer: