This year our Advent Candle liturgies will call us to consider the various parts of the Advent wreath. This week we are called to consider the evergreen.
The Scripture Readings this week are:
- Isaiah 35:1-10
- Luke 1:5-17, 24-25
Early Thoughts: Why do we hang greenery in the middle of winter? Why kill a tree to haul it inside for a few week before tossing it out in a snow drift?
Because it is a sign of life. Because it reminds us of the life that is bubbling under the surface. Because in the depths of Winter we need to be reminded of life and hope (particularly as I look forward to shoveling for a few hours this afternoon).
The story of Christian faith is the story of life in surprising places, of life that shouldn't be there, of life that pops up where one expects only death and barren-ness. From Abram and Sarai, getting a son when it was well past the ordinary time, to Isaiah talking about flowers blooming in the desert, to Zechariah and Elizabeth also having a child where everyone assumed they were infertile, to the empty tomb the story is about life where no life was/is expected.
Evergreen boughs remind us of the life that is bursting forth all the time. They remind us that even in our times of quietness and rest we are growing. They remind us to look for the life. Always look for the life. Because where there is life, even (or perhaps especially) unexpected life, there is hope.