Pastor’s Letter Dec. 11th, 2016: Advent, a Time of Hope
The snow day never came. You can be sure there were many school children in Edmonds hoping and praying for a snow day this past week. When I was a child I loved the snow. In Eastern Washington my idea of heaven was a snow day, not having to go to school and spending all day playing in the snow.
In the winter I always hoped that a snow day would come and come soon. Hoping is part of the human experience. We like to look forward to things that will make us happy. We hope for something better. Hope, indeed, is one of the foundations of our religion, along with faith and love. A good and loving God the Father has promised a future filled with light and eternal happiness. This is our hope.
Hope means we are “on the way”, always moving forward to that better place. The journey will end in a destination we can call home. Not a black hole, empty room or cloudy sky. The sun will shine; the light will penetrate the darkness. This is the basis for this 3rd Sunday of Advent. The Latin term for this Sunday is “Gaudete”, which means “rejoice!” We rejoice because our Savior is near at hand. Christmas is right around the corner. “Gaudete” is hope bursting forth into rejoicing. Hope is being realized. Hopeful longing moves to possessing, and possession to satisfaction.
I know what it feels like to wake up look out the window to see the fresh snow on the ground, knowing school will be canceled and looking forward to a play day in the snow. That feeling of joy is what the Church wants us to capture in this Season of Advent, and especially in this “Gaudete” of the third Sunday of Advent. Our Savior is close at hand, Rejoice! Gaudete!