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This is crazy human logic used to make us feel less miserable by considering others less deserving of these things than we.

Candle Light: An Advent Meditation – The Pietist Schoolman

The holy family is homeless, seen and loved only by the heavenly hosts, shepherds, lowest in the Palestinian class system, and three wise ones from the middle-east. The upstanding locals all but ignore them. Herod the king plots their murder. That is the how the Son of Love is born into the world in our Christian story. It is very much a tale of light in deep darkness.

There will be many ways the light of love will shine in our darkness this Christmas. The light shines in the nativity story, whether sung in great music of the season or acted out by children dressed in pajamas in front of an audience in love with the story and the children. Christmas will transform darkness when the love of generations past and present shines in memory as once again family and friends enact their Christmas traditions.

Reflections: Advent calls us to transform the dark with light of love

The light will shine through the darkness of a deep winter night in a Christmas Eve service with candles and carols and, if we are fortunate this year, snow. But to draw closer to and know the light of love that is Christmas, we need to expand our understanding of the message of darkness and light in the nativity story. My dear wife Nancy volunteers, along with many other good people, at Portland Adult Education to teach English to immigrant women and men. They come for help with their language skills to aid them in their formidable task of making a new life for themselves and their loved ones in a very foreign land.

Advent Light

Literacy volunteers believe in these displaced people, have eyes to really see them, and make room. What they see are God-beloved people from Central America, Africa, and the Middle East who come to us possessing remarkable courage, strength, faithfulness to God and family, and love of freedom.

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And they ask little of us beyond a chance to give their gifts. That is the irony of this modern nativity tale; it is the immigrants who bring gifts to their new land. They bring rich cultures that would enable us, all from immigrant stock, to see ourselves and the world more clearly and be less afraid. They bring industry and spirituality to expand our economic base and our religious perspectives.

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They offer us a chance to make good on the promise of the American dream, which is not to make us as rich as possible. It is to be a land where worth and dignity for all people are believed in. It is a dream of welcoming the tired and the poor of other lands and giving them a chance to fulfill their dreams to the full extent possible given their abilities and our compassion. Each year the nativity story is read, portrayed, orchestrated and sung. It can be wonder full.

Bill Gregory is an author and retired UCC minister. Here at MaineToday Media we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. But whatever the case, there will always be a little bit of light, if even just a spark. As we journey through this Advent, let us pray that, not only will we find a little light on our path, but that we might be that light for others—just as my school chaplain was for me that long-ago day in high school. You have made my day.

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The imagery that you shared will help me to get through this difficult time. This is truly a lovely reflection.

Cheap Grow Lights bring Joy to Indoor Gardens

I have angel chimes but never thought or knew about lighting the little candles, one for each week of Advent. Thank you and I thank Ignatian Spirituality for all that you do! Cara what a lesson your school chaplain taught you and me,all these years later.. I had that exact same angel chime for many many years! I loved watching the Angels rotate around and around. As the heat from the candles lit below the Angels ascended the Angels would spin around and around ever so gently causing the chimes to ring ever so softly.. It was one of my all time favorite Christmas decorations. It calmed my spirit and rested my soul.

So much truth in this reflection!

The website and blog of historian Chris Gehrz

Ignatian Spirituality gets you to the matches and others who have them, right? The imagery of light is the one I most often use when I pray or meditate. Thank you for such a beautiful Advent reflection. Cara, that was simply beautiful. I just love the imagery and I think I might have to buy one of those angel chimes!

Cara, what a beautifully inspiring message for all of us. Thank you for sharing this wise counsel that you received as a teen. Blessings to you and your family. Any copying, redistribution, or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of Loyola Press is expressly prohibited.