Ruth Carter Stapleton once said, “Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.” This day rings out with joy, family, twinkling lights, the sound of song, the scent of celebration. It also calls us to take this celebration into the silence of those who have been silenced, the darkness between the lights, and the hunger of poverty. For it was into these that the Christ was born.
– The Rev. Wil Keith is Rector of Holy Cross Faith Memorial, Pawleys Island
Jesus Christ’s peace surpasses all understanding, all conflict, and all of life’s impasses. It is the peace of knowing that we are so loved by God, that he came down from heaven to live as one of us, to conquer death on our behalf, so that we too will be with him forever in heaven. A heaven where there’s no debt, no taxes, no broken, relationships, and no sickness. There will only be joy, love, abundance, security, and eternal peace.
– The Rev. Matthew McCormick is Priest-in-Charge of Calvary Episcopal Church, Charleston
Faith is a lifelong journey. As we grow and deepen our faith by worshipping, studying, practicing and sharing our faith with others, we must persist in knowing that there is always more to learn. Advent is a wonderful time to take on a new practice, re-engage with the Bible, or reconnect with our faith.
– Andrea McKellar is Ministry Developer for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina
This morning I saw some crows in the street, all squawking except one. He had a pecan in his mouth, walking around like he had the world by the tail. I thought, how does he expect to get inside that pecan? He will need help from the outside. We need help from outside ourselves, too. ‘Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free, from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.’
– The Rev. Mac Magee is a Deacon at Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston
Advent is a sign of our anticipation of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Israelites watched for hundreds of years for signs of the Messiah. Today we continue to watch for signs and promises that Jesus spoke about. God said, “though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken” (Isaiah 54:10). God’s love is steadfast. Have we shared this good news lately?
– Timothy Armstrong is Senior Warden of Calvary Episcopal Church, Charleston
Fire is easy to start and difficult to contain. It consumes the dross and refines the gold. It warmed the cave of the shivering infant, and later, in a courtyard, it warmed the hands of the friend who denied him. The small light in nativity’s cave dazzles with brightness in the cave of resurrection. Advent’s Candle becomes Paschal Fire. And our hearts are ablaze with new light, new love, once more.
– The Rev. Dow Sanderson is Priest-in-Charge of Church of the Good Shepherd, Summerville and chairman of the Commission on Ministry for the diocese
Do we wash to clean up? To recover from experiences – spills, stumbles, the dirt of life made by living it? Or do we wash to prepare? To welcome and be ready for what lies ahead – guests, meals, togetherness, life? In Advent, may we ready our hearts and lives for Jesus, who wipes clean the sins of all and shows us how to live in unity, preparing for the day he comes again. Wash. Clean. Prepare.
– Lauren Kinard is Diocesan Administrator and Executive Assistant to the Bishop for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina
Often I feel a twinge of jealousy when I meet people with deep ties to their ancestry. Who am I? From where do I come? Though I may know little about my family ancestry, I’m blessed to be rooted in a faith tradition in which I regularly commune with ancestors known and unknown. The communion of saints and all who shaped the faith before me help me know who I am as I am formed on this journey of life.
– Lauren Kay is a seminarian at Seminary of the Southwest and a candidate for Holy Orders from our diocese.
"My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God." How much do I allow myself to experience the longing for God's presence and the joy of being before him? O Lord, indeed, there is nothing better than being with you and to gather with your people, to sing, to pray, and to be encouraged through human fellowship in which you are present.
– Monica Hammonds is member of Church of the Holy Communion, where she sings in the choir.
Rejoice, rejoice, believers! Be glad! Believe that in our hope and expectation, Jesus will appear! With great anticipation, we prepare ourselves during Advent. Make time to pray, meditate, reflect, and listen, as we rejoice together to celebrate the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ!
– Janet Dunn Clark is a member of the Cheraw Episcopal Worship Group
We're sharing a new word each day from December 2-25, 2018, with meditations and images from people around our diocese.