On Saturday I co-led an Advent retreat for about twenty folks from the mission church our family is a part of. A dear friend and I wove together Scripture, meditations, movement, art, poetry and photography into a few hours, to consider the Nativity story through the eyes of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the Magi. Our hope was to create a peaceful quiet space to be with these characters in new ways.
There was a lot to love about Saturday, gathering in that room of people to have a true Advent morning, to press pause on the relentless march toward Christmas and honor waiting and mystery and the darkness almost always needed to birth new things. But my favorite moment was at the end, when we invited each participant to come forward and share which Nativity character he or she had chosen as a “companion” for the journey to Christmas. Did one long for the openness of Mary, the faithfulness of Joseph? Did another long to emerge from the shadows into light with the shepherds, or know the journey across the desert with the Magi? Each person then lit a little tea light. Each shuddered and nearly went out right after it was lit, but one by one every wick straightened and every flame rose pointed upward.
Altogether, those hopes and prayers and longings were so bright. I carried their light and warmth home with me, and carry them still.
Happily joining in with daily prompts
for December with other good folks