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Several years ago, my family and I were walking in a very dry and rocky place in the eastern Mojave dessert. The sun and the dessert air took the moisture out of our skin and throats. There was no vegetation to speak of. As we climbed over a boulder, there poking out of a crack in the rock, was a tiny flower. It was very surprising and mysterious, and I think it was like Advent.

flowers-rock-river-046Advent reminds us to look for Love that blooms in the most barren of places and to anticipate light that breaks through the darkness.

We all experience dark times in our lives that can dampen our hope and cloud our ability to see that God’s inexhaustible love at work in us and in our world. It can be illness or loss or a sense of failure or the struggle of a child. Or it can be events in our country and in our world, like gun violence, or a sharp strain of xenophobia that rallies support for a ban on Muslims.

Advent reminds us that love is the most powerful force in the universe. Even in the most barren of places in our lives, even when the darkness of fear and hate seem to surround us, we can trust ourselves to Love that never lets us go! During Advent, we anticipate the Light of God in Jesus that reconciles all that is broken apart. Jesus saw the Light of God at the heart of every human being. When we see others as Jesus saw them, we are empowered to stand against all that stands against love.

God is inviting us to co-create a new world. The Qur’an says, “Every where you turn, there is the face of God.” A heart aligned with God’s heart, is compassionate as God is compassionate, radically committed to the healing of all of creation. We are called this advent to walk the path of peace trusting that through us, and with us, God will make a light shine on all who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

Another in our series of Advent Meditations from All Saints Church in Pasadena — where Sally Howard serves as Associate for Pastoral Care.

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