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Spiritual: December 12, 2018 Issue [#9271]

 This week: The Hope of Advent
  Edited by: Sophy
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

Hi, I'm Sophy ~ your editor for this edition of the Spiritual Newsletter.

The Rev. Scotty McLennan, author of the book Finding Your Religion, compares humanity's innate need for spiritual searching to climbing a mountaain. In his view, we are all endeavoring to climb the same figurative mountain in our search for the divine, we just may take different ways to get there. In other words, there is one "God," but many paths. I honor whatever path or paths you have chosen to climb that mountain in your quest for the Sacred.

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Letter from the editor

The Hope of Advent

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the faith that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” Vaclav Havel

As the days shorten and December plunges us into deepening darkness, many people of faith observe spiritual celebrations of light. Pagans celebrate Winter Solstice on December 21 as the beginning of the return of the sun, while our Jewish friends recently observed Hanukkah, a “festival of lights” memorializing their victory over a tyrant king and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem.

In this gathering winter darkness, Christians observe Advent during the four weeks prior to Christmas by lighting candles on wreaths. We light candles of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love on each of the Sundays – each reminding us that the “Light shines in the darkness, and darkness has not overcome it.” This is the promise of Advent, during which Christians prepare for the returning of light of the world in Jesus.

The light of Christmas is associated with a baby born to parents in vulnerable circumstances. The gospel writers depict Jesus' birth into a dark and dangerous world governed by the brutal politics of an elite ruling class. Two thousand years later, our world is eerily similar. It may seem counterintuitive looking for hope in an infant and his dispossessed family, yet this year I see the connection profoundly in the tragic situation of refugees seeking asylum all over the world. The image of US Border agents teargassing women and children last month was as shocking as it was deplorable. As many around the world call for slamming their borders shut in the faces of desperate immigrant families, my heart recalls a young refugee couple turned away from the inn.

As people of faith, we can and must be better than this. The possibility of peace, the hope for justice, the experience of unexpected joy, and the love of God’s creation can only be realized by shining the light of compassion into the darkest corners of our world. Summoning our concern for the well being of strangers, particularly for those most vulnerable, is the only way human society will overcome the tyranny of fear, violence, and greed that has so long dominated our existence.

Realistically I don’t know how likely it is that the human epoch will have a happy ending on the planet. We’re capable of inspiring visions and terrifying nightmares and I just don’t have a strong sense of how things will end up for us. I’ve never really been an optimist, and who knows – maybe that’s for the better. But I choose not to abandon hope. I choose to continue striving for kindness and compassion. I choose to contribute to charities that serve the poor and advocate for justice. The more I consider the season of advent as it comes around each year, the better I understand the hope it’s meant to instill. At least one thing we can take away from the very realistic and repetitive nature of the season is importance of continuing to try to make the world a better place, even when the prospects for humanity seem dim.

The angels of this season implore us to “fear not,” and so it is my hope is that we will all renounce fear by welcoming those who need us the most. This is the meaning of this sacred season. Therefore, may a sacred light which summons the best of our humanity guide us, as we embrace one another as sisters and brothers, all members of God’s family, regardless of our religion, skin color, or circumstance.

Editor's Picks

Below you'll find some spiritual offerings from other WDC members. Please let the folks know if you read their piece by leaving a thoughtful comment or review. I realize I post mostly poems, but that is because it is tough to find other types of spiritual writing on the site. If you have something you would like me to highlight, please do share it with me, thanks!

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2177019 by Not Available.

Royal Riviera Pears  (13+)
One taste lingers for years
#2176805 by 🌸 pwheeler ~ happy spring!

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2176661 by Not Available.

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#2176504 by Not Available.

A Dashing Christmas  (13+)
We'll have a Dashing Christmas this year!
#2176499 by Zesty Carrot Top Sharmelle

 Love for loving  (E)
various dimensions of human love
#2176215 by Zaman

 Anyone Can Suffer from Mental Illness  (E)
A free verse poem of disease.
#2177066 by Survivor48

 Set Her Free  (E)
Go after your dreams!
#2176662 by Crystal18

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Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

No comments from my last newsletter "Spiritual Newsletter (November 14, 2018) about the Better Angels of our Nature *Frown*

*Snow1* *Snowman* *Snow2* *Snowman* *Snow3* *Snowman* *Snow1* *Menorah* *Snowman* *Snow2* *Snowman* *XMasTree* *Snow3* *Snowman* *Snow1* *SantaHat* *Snowman* *Snow2* *Snowman* *Snow3* *StockingR* *Snowman* *Snow1* *Snowman* *Snow2* *Snowman* *Snow3*

Please do keep your comments and suggestions coming - and Happy Holidays! *Bigsmile* Sophy

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