Story of the Advent Spiral
Story of the Advent Spiral by Rev. Vicki Hammel
“The first light of Advent is the light of stone–.
Light that lives in crystals, seashells, and bones.
The second light of Advent is the light of plants–
Plants that reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance.
The third light of Advent is the light of beasts–
All await the birth, from the greatest and in least.
The fourth light of Advent is the light of humankind–
The light of hope that we may learn to love and understand.”
The word “Advent” means something is coming. For us Advent is also a time of waiting. We’re waiting for the birth of Jesus. In our part of the earth, the days and the light grow shorter and the darkness grows longer. As we wait we remember who we are, and where we came from, and to whom we belong. We light candles and sing carols that remind us to be patient for Jesus to come in our hearts once more. There are four weeks until Christmas and each week we celebrate the earth and how it was made ready for human beings. And mostly we listen to the story of how Jesus came to be with us. How Mary and Joseph set out on a journey to Bethlehem, and how God guided them and kept them safe. How Jesus came as the light of the world, and how God guides us, keeps us safe, and shines light in and through each of us.
Advent is a journey that we make in the dark days of winter to rekindle our own light as we remember Jesus and his light that lights the world.
How do we know that Christmas is coming? You cannot see it with your eyes, because the days and nights are as they usually are, people live and go about their business in an ordinary way. You cannot hear it with your ears because the sounds are the same noises as we always hear: cars drive by and planes pass overhead, children play and cry out as they always do.
And yet, four weeks before Christmas something happens that is very important: a great angel descends from heaven to invite the inhabitants of the earth to prepare for Christmas. The Angel is dressed in a grand cloak of blue, woven of silence and peace.
Most people do not notice them because they are so busy with other things. But the angel sings in a voice profound, and only those who have an attentive heart can hear them.
They sing: “Heaven comes to the earth, God lives in the hearts of all people. Pay attention! Open the door!”
It is on the first Sunday of Advent that the angel passes and speaks to all people. And those who are attentive in their hearts can prepare for Christmas, and sing the song that kindles a spark….
Each one of us is a light, and in this dark world, as we listen and wait, we remember that our light joins with all other lights to make a greater light, as we wait for the One Light…Jesus…who is the Light of the World.
If you make a fist with your hand, where your thumb wraps around fingers a spiral is formed. Our fist then reminds us that the spiral is about a journey to the light, and to peace, and so we remember that light is more powerful than darkness, that love is stronger than hate, and that peace is within our grasp.