Tradition. Traditions at times hold us hostage to the things we have always known and keep us from experiencing new things. However traditions are also something that can ground us to our roots and what matters most, especially in difficult times. For me growing up there was something special about Advent, we would light the candle each week in church and do the readings. However, as I grew up I pushed many of those traditions away. Now as an adult I find comfort in some of these traditions. Taking the time leading up to Christmas to prepare my heart for the day and focusing on what truly matters helps me stay grounded when it seems that the world is spiraling out of control. In this season, with the constant chaos of the year, I find that it is especially helpful to ground myself in the things that matter.
Week 1 of advent is often referenced as the Hope or Promise candle. In the midst of COVID we need hope more than ever. As we begin to focus on hope, we can focus our minds on the more positive things. As a clinician I have had clients who have had no hope for themselves. They could not imagine that things would not get better. As a clinician I at times have had toehold the hope for them. I tell them, I know you can’t see things getting better but I can so I will hold on to the hope and remind you of it until you can hold it yourself. I imagine that there were many people who felt like this that first Christmas. That had not heard of anyone hearing from God in many many years. That had been oppressed for their entire lives by the Romans. Yet there were a few that were holding on to hope that held on for an entire people.
One reading that is recommended for this week comes from Isaiah 9 and is seen below.
What are you hoping for in this season? Have you lost your hope? You are not alone. Things will get better. Lets chat!