Communion Meditation for 1st Sunday of Advent
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)
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.”
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.