Third Sunday of Advent

There are many who say, “O that we might see some good!
Let the light of your face shine on us, O LORD!”
—Psalm 4:6

Finding That Place of Warmth and Light

When my husband and I got married, we invited six family members to read something of their own choosing at the ceremony, hoping to glean wisdom (and knowing my family, a few laughs) from these shared thoughts on marriage and life.  A Navy man, a poet, and a lover of the sea, my father read a Robert Browning poem that has stuck with me over the years.  Although it is certainly a romantic poem, it describes beautifully the discovery of light from a place of darkness. And I think of it especially this year as I approach the fifth year of not having my parents with us to celebrate Christmas.

Meeting at Night

The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, through its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!

As we move through the advent season, I think about the unexpected, everyday glories and of the joy brought on by desire: desire for love, for understanding, and for that “blue spurt of a lighted match.”  Whatever slushy sand must be soldiered through to arrive at that longed-for sea-scented beach, whatever cove must be gained, I hope we all find that place of warmth and light this season, and in all seasons.

—Amy James,
Director of Community Outreach