Hi blog family!
It’s been a while since I’ve written, so I would like to catch everyone up on what’s been going on!
I spent the last week in Szekszard, Hungary with my cohort in a time of preparation for Advent and Christmas. We stayed on a winery, and the views were truly unbelievable. Check out my Facebook post to see more! We spent a lot of time being together in community and singing every Christmas Carol under the sun. On our last night, we joyfully lit all four candles on our advent wreath! We also each lit a little candle for the people, places, smells, and feelings that we get from all of the different places that we call home. (Keep scrolling to see a picture!)
Something that struck me about our advent wreath and subsequent candles around it was that the smaller candles that we had lit created what looked like a water drop around the burning fire of the advent candles. This got me thinking about the lifecycle of fire and water and how we need both to survive this crazy thing that we call life.
During Advent, much of our focus is on the candles that we are lighting, one for each week. Our cohort also focused much time on the fire, but it was amazing to me that we, without realizing it, created water around our fire.
To me, this symbolizes how, no matter how out of control you feel of your life, there is always the calming presence around you that is Jesus. Sometimes I feel like there is such a big fire burning inside of me, in a good way or in a bad way, that there is nothing that could ever quench its’ thirst or put it out. It reminded me that no matter how big of a firewall you are facing, Jesus will always be there to control the fire and take care of you.
It also reminded me of our holy baptism sacrament. God reminds us in baptism that we are his children, and then nothing will ever be too big for us to handle. Baptism is not something we usually think about in the Christmas season, but it was a nice reminder that that’s where it all begins. Christmas is often a time of beginning, because it is the time that we celebrate Jesus’s birth, and baptism is the same thing for us. It’s a time of renewal and beginning.
Water has such an important place in our theology as Lutherans, and as Christians as a whole. While Christmas focuses on lights and fire, it’s nice to remember that Jesus will always be the calming presence around us, no matter what we are going through. It also reminded me that sometimes people don’t feel welcome in their families and don’t feel like they have a home. Not everyone would be able to light one of the small candles that we lit for the people and families and homes that we have in this world. This is especially hard during the holiday season. It reminded me that even though these people face burning fires every day, Jesus is still there to quench their thirst and douse their fires.
As the Christmas season quickly approaches us, remember that we are called to be the water around the fire. We, as Christians, are called to be safe places and sources of light for those that feel like their lives might be overtaken by the fire. Reach out to those that you love on Christmas, or in this advent season, and remind them that Jesus will always be there to put out the fires in their lives.