Sunday, December 18, 2016

Fear of Running Out of the Advent Wreath Candles

Last night was the first night that we lit the 3rd candle on the Advent wreath.  I wanted to light it before we moved into the 4th week of Advent, so last night was our last chance.

I see a similar dynamic in my mind that is usual for this time of year.  The first week of Advent, I light the candles several times, perhaps every night.  Then I get alarmed at how the candle has burnt down.  What if we don't have any part of the first candle left by the time we get to fourth week of Advent?  Then I become more and more hesitant to light the candles at all.

I realize that there's an obvious lesson here.  But it's still hard for me to go ahead and light them.

Last night we were watching a Holocaust film, Treblinka's Last Witness.  My spouse brought the Advent wreath over to the coffee table, and we let the candles burn while we watched this story of ghastly inhumanity.  I wish I believe that it couldn't happen again, but it has happened, one genocide or more per decade, since the end of World War II.  At least we haven't seen genocide with the wide geographical reach that Hitler had.

It's grim consolation, as we listen to reports coming out of Aleppo.

Clearly, I need to keep those candles lit, keep those prayers for peace coming, keep watch for signs of the Divine breaking through.

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