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Advent – December 12, 2023


December 12, 2023

The Tenth Day of Advent



I slipped from my bed, well before dawn, went into the sitting room, and turned on the lights of the Christmas tree.  As I sat for morning prayer the beauty of the lights, in an otherwise dark room, gave me a gift of peace.  In this sacred sanctuary I began morning prayer, eyes closed, as usual.  When I opened my eyes.  It was still so early that the only light, in the room, came from the tree.  Then, once again, my eyes settled on the Advent wreath.  No candles were lit.  That would take place, as usual, at sunset.  But I wanted to light the candles now, in the darkness, before the rising of the sun.  At first, I resisted lighting the candles, insisting that it was not sunset, not even sunrise.  The routine, the ritual, was to light the appropriate candles on the Advent wreath, at sunset every day, during the season of Advent; and I could not bring myself to break with tradition, at least our family tradition.  Then a quiet voice, from within me, whispered.  “There is not a set-in-stone rule about the time for an Advent ceremony.”  I heard myself responding, out loud.  “Well, I know that.”  But did I?  Was I being rigid, inflexible?  I knew the answer was “yes.”  So, in the predawn hush I began the song, The Light of the Dove, lit two candles, and thoroughly enjoyed my break with tradition.  It felt good.  By the time I blew out the candles, the first light of day was coming in through the windows.  Wow, that was wonderful!  With a semi-defiant stride, I went up to the family kitchen, turned on the oven to five hundred degrees, washed a huge baking potato, and placed it, center oven.  Must admit I was smiling as I set the timer for one hour.  Baked potato for breakfast!  I am turning into an Advent rebel.  I encourage each of you to do the same.  Shake a few things up today.  Have a baked potato for breakfast.  Change the time of day you light the candles on the Advent wreath.  Live on the edge.


          On this ninth day of Advent, 2023, the reading I have chosen is from Isaiah 11:10.

The Reading

December 12, 2023

“In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.”  Isaiah 11:10


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