Lectionary blog for Dec. 14, 2014
Third Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Psalm 126;
Luke 1:46b-55; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28

By Delmer Chilton

“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me … to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion”  (Isaiah 61:1-3).

Grey hills fade into overcast skies,
           night falls before we are ready,
                        prompting us to light up our world,
            with brightly colored luminations. 

It’s a good time to think upon 
            the coming of divine light 
                        into profane darkness;
it is not a good time to ponder
            the loss of one who carried that light
                        into your own life. 

Advent is a time of waiting,
            of being alert to the signs and signals
                        that God loves us 
                                    and is in our midst. 

It is hard to wait, to be patient, to be alert, to see God 
            when one is filled with a sadness
                        that cuts to the bone
                                   and reaches out to the horizon. 

Advent in a time of mourning is,
            like all the things in life that really matter,
                        both bitter and sweet. 

To taste the emptiness that comes 
            when the one who brought you into this world goes out
                                    is bitter.

Yet, to recollect her laugh, to relish her humor, 
            to recall her toughness and her love,
                                    is sweet. 

Advent in a time of mourning,
            is waiting tinged with both sadness and hope;
                        sad for what is lost –
                                    and hope for what is to come.

Delmer Chilton is originally from North Carolina and received his education at the University of North Carolina, Duke Divinity School and the Graduate Theological Foundation. He received his Lutheran training at the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C. Ordained in 1977, Delmer has served parishes in North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

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