[The Second Week of Advent] The Path of Peace

For the Second Week of Advent on our journey Toward the Approaching Light, we again began with song and lighting of the Advent candles. It feels odd, sometimes, to light a few candles and leave others unlit, but this is Advent and we come face to face with unmet longings and open our hearts to anticipation, hope and expectation.

Darrell led us into the spiritual practice of examen, inviting us into space to listen prompted by key questions:

When in the last few days did you feel you were walking with Jesus in the way of peace? 

When in the last few days did you feel you were walking with Jesus in the way of peace?

When in the last few days did you feel you were NOT walking with Jesus in the way of peace?

When in the last few days did you feel you were NOT walking with Jesus in the way of peace?

We looked at the Scripture from Luke 1 traditionally called Zechariah's song - a prophetic cry of longing and hopeful expectation at the significance of Jesus' birth. Here are some of Dave's reflections from this passage:

As a priest of an exiled people, I imagine Zechariah was weary and tired of infusing hope in desperate and exhausting circumstances.

I imagine he regularly faced those who invoked fear and violence and rallied for exclusion of the other and the call to take up arms as the biblical and Godly way of faithfulness.

I imagine he himself wavered between succumbing to fear and holding on to hope.

And I imagine he experienced both trembling and relief as “he was filled with a fresh wind from God” (Luke 1:67) and proclaimed with prophetic confidence that God’s good news would “guide our feet on the path of peace” (Luke 1:79).

We concluded our time with prayer and Eucharist. Stan guided us in a practice of prayer based off of Zechariah's experience of being struck mute and experiencing God's promptings, with each of us writing on paper a moment or story of God's faithfulness.

Our Advent journey continues!