A picture of Reverend Christine at the pulpit during her installation ceremony

In the Christian calendar, we are in the season of Advent. I love the concept of Advent–the time of waiting for the world to change and also a celebration of some of our greatest ideals–faith, hope, love and joy.  

During Christian services, they light a candle each Sunday for each week–and each principle–of Advent. I invite you to ponder them for yourselves, however you think of this season. And, like everything with Unitarian Universalism, I invite you into the paradox of these values. 

I share the words of Unitarian Universalist David O. Rankin, from his book “Dancing in the Empty Spaces”:

During the Advent season, we celebrate the qualities of faith, hope, love, and joy. Yet these must be viewed through the prism of paradox.

No Faith is worthy without the capacity to doubt all things—for then it is only credulity.

No Hope is possible without the specter of defeat in the wings—for then it is only dreaming.

No Love is strong without the dread of loss in the heart—for then it is only passion.

No Joy is complete without the certainty of sorrow in the future—for then it is only frivolity.

Thus, it is wrong to mislead people with simplistic notions, for they distract us from the fullness of life. After all, the seas have storms, the clouds have lightning, and the roses have thorns—forever.

– David O. Rankin

I wish you all a blessed season of Advent.