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Communion Meditation for 1st Sunday of Advent

2011 November 29
by Mike

It was so good to be at Highland this past Sunday (first time in months!) and to hear Padawan Josh Ross. I was asked to give the communion thoughts for this, the first Sunday of Advent. The communion meditation is below:

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In the beginning was the Word. The Word was close beside God, and the Word was God. In the beginning, he was close beside God. All things came into existence through him; not one thing that exists came into existence without him. Life was in him, and this life was the light of the human race. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)

used by permission


The speech therapist for Gabrielle Giffords—the US Congresswoman who was shot in the head while meeting with constituents in Arizona—focused on one word: LIGHT. “Can you say, Light?”

It’s a word pregnant with meaning for Believers around the world this morning as we live into the hope of Advent. We remember that God’s very first words in scripture, spoken to rebuke the chaos, were, “Let there be light!” We recall that when chaos struck again in Exile, the prophet Isaiah anticipated God’s new work by saying “Arise, shine, for the Light is come.”

And we believe, in the fulness of time that Light—the Light of the World—did shine among us. He exposed the darkness; he illuminated God’s Way; he brightened our hope.

But the damage to the left side of Giffords’ brain, the side that controls language, was so great that she couldn’t find the word. She tried again and again, but wound up with only frustrated tears. So the therapist began singing, and immediately Gabby Giffords joined right in word for word, “This little Light of Mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”

[PLAY CLIP]

The song, emerging from the right side of her brain, came out and helped restore the structure of her language center. It was the beginning of Rep. Giffords finding her own voice.

And for us, for those who still often feel like we live in the shadowlands, who seem to be groping about in darkness, we experience this meal in the same way. This simple meal helps retrieve our rhythm, pitch, and melody that gets lost in this damaged, wounded life. It sustains us once again, filling us with the life of the one who shines among us. The one who has illuminated our way. Who has invited us to join him as lights to his world.

This morning, on the first Sunday of Advent, as our brothers and sisters around the world remind each other that he who appeared once will appear again to restore all things, we affirm in this meal our belief that on that great day there will be no need for lamps or bulbs or candles or the sun, for he will be among us and will shine brightly.

5 Responses leave one →
  1. Kathy permalink
    November 30, 2011

    Bless you, Mike for the beautiful thoughts you shared with us Sunday. You and your beautiful Diane looked and sounded so at home and we felt the brief visit of beloved voices reaching into our hearts once again.
    May you and yours enjoy Advent and Christmas season in love, joy and contentment.
    Thank you dear pastor-teacher/preacher/friend!!! You and Diane certainly blessed us Sunday!!

  2. November 30, 2011

    What is it about that song? When my daughter was less than 18 months old, she would periodically thrust a chubby finger in the air and shout, “SHINY!” It took me about a week to figure out she was asking me to sing “This little light of mine…” She still radiates His light today at almost 16.

    And when sweet Jack Marcelain’s body, like Gifford’s, was unable to respond to his surroundings following surgery for a brain tumor, when his mom and grandma would sing “This little light of mine…” he would lift his hand and wave his “light.” Jack’s healing testifies to His amazing light.

    Light — basic element. Basic song about light that speaks to all of us, I suppose.

    Beautiful thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing them with those of us that weren’t there!

  3. Kent Dickerson permalink
    December 4, 2011

    One of my favorite carols of the last several years is Light Of The Stable. It reminds me that Jesus indeed brings light into darkness. Being a part of His light to the world is certainly one of my goals in life. God, use us this time of year to share boldly His Light!

  4. Rex Nutt permalink
    December 5, 2011

    I too enjoyed ur communion thoughts. Thanks for printing them here so we can go back to them. Also enjoyed seeing u last week!

  5. December 29, 2011

    Dear Mike,
    Thank you for gently reminding us of the power of The Light of the world.
    Your brother in the Light,
    Keith

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