I was recently honored to be invited to speak at two local parishes for their Advent by Candlelight events. I’ll be posting the four sections of my talk on the blog – one during each week of Advent. Here is the introduction to the presentation:
An Advent Circle of Grace
“Grace happens when human life is lived and celebrated authentically.”
This quote, from theologian Michael J. Taylor, helps point to this idea that grace can be found in nearly every event and circumstance in our lives. Grace happens when life is lived. And, grace happens when we celebrate authentically. When we are in the midst of the commotion and busyness of life, like most of us are during the month of December, it’s sometimes very difficult to slow down and notice grace that abounds. It’s sometimes hard to celebrate authentically when we have so much to do.
For this evening, I hope to offer you a circle of grace. Just as we sit around these tables in circles of community, my hope is that we can envision a circle of our soul sisters as we make the preparations, run the errands, cook and bake and juggle, all the while taking care of all of the other responsibilities that life brings. Just as the Advent wreath is a circle, the image of the four lit candles form a circle of grace. And so, my talk is a collection of four little themes, like the candles of the Advent wreath, each with blessings I’ve written for you. Perhaps you can think of them as four little spiritual practices. As you journey around this circle and envision it becoming illuminated day by day and week by week, I’m hopeful that you’ll be able to take a few deep breaths every day to focus on these ideas. Maybe you’ll turn to a different theme every week. Or perhaps one will resonate more than the others and your Advent will be richer for it. My hope is that you will find moments of grace where you know in your heart that God is there, whispering. The moments of grace are there. May the words and images that are brought to mind this evening draw you deeper into the grace that Advent offers.
Follow the links below to view each week’s reflection: