Pastor’s Paragraph for December 22, 2019

Pastor's Paragraph for December 22, 2019

DECEMBER 22, 2019


When I was growing up, lighting the advent wreath was a big deal. It was at the center of our kitchen table, and my eyes would light up, as my parents lit the purple and pink candles at evening meals, signifying that we were drawing daily closer to Christmas. 

I loved setting up the wreath at the beginning of advent. I loved the warmth of the light. I loved the writing that was scrawled on the ceramic base—words like love, joy, and peace. I loved the stories that we told from advent devotionals, as the candles were lit. And I loved the pleasant-smelling puffs of smoke when I extinguished the candles with the silver candle snuffer. 

But there was a point at which the joy stopped—and fear set in. I was afraid to light the candles myself with a match. For years and years, I was afraid I would get burned. 

Does this ring true for you? Not necessarily in the sense that we’re afraid of matches—but in the sense that we love the stories of advent, but there are times when we slip from joy to fear. Are we sometimes afraid of having to be the ones responsible for lighting up the world? As we’ve struggled to participate in this Jesus-led process of being light-bearers, have we held tightly for years to the fear that we might get burned? That we might be called to bring light in places and with people that are not at all convenient or safe? 

Advent is a season when we are called not only to wait for the second coming of Jesus—but to participate in Jesus’ plan for us right now—to be bearers of his light in this world. We are called to make the leap from observing others to becoming people who are unafraid to strike a match with our own lives. So, can we this year hear and live the advent call—“be not afraid…!”?

Grace & Peace to You,


Rev. Anna Layman Knox

Lead Associate Pastor