Weekly Feature

2017-12-13 / Lifestyles


Advent can bring sense of needed peace
Clarence Fire Chaplain

“But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” — Jesus in Mark’s Gospel

I just want to jump to Christmas, because Advent seems like it’s off to a terrible start.

The first weekend in Advent started with a text about the second coming. No nice, fluffy stories about Mary singing, angels “angeling,” shepherds listening or babies swaddling.

Cultural Christmas started when 102.5 FM started the Christmas music on Oct. 15 and Lowe’s simultaneously set up displays of Halloween and Christmas stuff, and some houses in Clarence cranked up the Disney Christmas inflatables.

Everyone seems to want to already be at Christmas. Who can blame them? Nights are getting darker, politics are getting more brutal, boundaries are being crossed left and right, missiles are being tested and fired, and the Sabres stink.

In fact, it can feel a little like what Jesus is talking about: sun darkening, moonless light and stars falling.

If you’re like me, you’d like every day to have the Christmas Eve, candles lit feel with pretty snow and quiet peace. But we all know that life is rarely like that.

So maybe Advent is just the place we need to be? Maybe Advent can speak to our real lives more than Christmas or its eve? Maybe in the midst of the crazy that we just walked through last week with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, where this incredible pressure exists to spend, we can feel the promise that Jesus is coming again.

After that verse I started with, Jesus continues his story to tell them how great the day will be, how fulfilled that promise will become and how incredible its power is to overcome all that is wrong in the world and our lives.

Advent. Maybe that’s exactly what we need. The clear reminder that the story that started so long ago in a manger didn’t end there. That the promises that began with peace are actually designed for our most chaotic moments. That the hope that spilled into that holy night is connected to a hope that will culminate in a time to come that will be amazing and healing and awesome and beautiful.

So, if your world is dark, your life is loud and your pressure is high, do not be dismayed. Take heart. Christmas happened for sure. But maybe more importantly today, the promises that started with that story are real and coming again. Feel them break into your story today and keep awake toward the light that will come again.

Return to top

Clarence Special Events 2018
Click for schedule