TODAY IS THE FIRST Sunday in Advent, the time of preparation for the Christian celebration of Christmas.
Each of the four candles reminds us of those who prepared the way for the coming of Jesus:
- The first is for the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the forefathers of the Hebrew people and the founders of Judaism.
- The second is for the prophets
- The third is for John the Baptist
- The fourth is for Mary, Jesus’ mother
In one of the scripture readings for the season, a prophet proclaims:
A child is born to us! A son is given to us!
And he will be our ruler.
He will be called, ‘Wonderful Counsellor’, Mighty God’, ‘Eternal Father’, ‘Prince of Peace’.
His royal power will continue to grow; his kingdom will always be at peace.’ (Isaiah 9:6-7)
People in every age have, like Isaiah, longed for a peacemaker to overcome the conflict among them. Our age is no different – we lament suffering and bloodshed the world over, and despair of humanity. But if we hold on to hope that the world can be a better place if enough people speak out against injustice, and remember that we are one of those people, we too can be a peacemaker.