Advent starts Sunday! Maybe you, like me, are starting to feel the pull of Christmas. Maybe it’s a relief: finally making it through a long and restless year, finding your way to the safe coziness of a season of warmth and comfort. Maybe it’s a bit stressful: a list of tasks that your family or your job or some part of your self expects you to complete in the next twenty days or so. And maybe it’s a place of sorrow: gathering your strength and your heart for a holiday without a loved one, separated by death or divorce or the other heartbreaks of your life.
Our theme this year is “The Sound Love Makes.” Each week in worship, I look forward to experiencing different interpretations on how love sounds: maybe it’s a voice crying in the wilderness, maybe it’s silence. Maybe it’s prophetic song, and maybe it’s the sweet commotion of animals and children in the most silly and most sacred of Advent traditions, our pageant.
I’m also inviting us to reflect on “The Sound Love Makes” in other settings. (Let me know if you’d like to join the Adult Forum in reflecting on your favorite (or most intriguing!) Advent/Christmas song at one of our December gatherings!) Are you hearing love in the music you gather around with your friends? (At Glee Club or around a campfire or coffee table!) Are you hearing love in the voices calling for justice, here in Bellingham and all over the world? Are you hearing love in the sounds of the natural world in this season- bird calls and gentle rain and empty branches clacking and all the rest?
And if Love is, indeed, crafting a great musical ensemble in your community and ecosystem, when are you joining in the score? Are you speaking love and kindness to the strangers you run into, each day? Are you witnessing love and truth-telling in conversations with legislators and opponents? Are you seeking out just the right moment and rhythm with which to sound love to the people in your lives that are broken, that are running on empty, that have no strength for music of their own?
Get quiet if you need to. Take a moment if it helps. But by all means listen. Listen for the sound love makes.