An Advent Reflection for 580 Teenagers.
When I was in college I lived in Ireland for a year abroad.
There is an ancient celtic religious monument i visited once.
The celtic religion built this place to honor winter solstice.
You climbed a beautiful grassy green hill, and on the top of this hill was a small mound with rocks all around it.
In one spot was a hole in the hill.
You went into the hold and walked quite a bit into a totally dark room.
Your eyes tried to focus- but they couldn’t it was just totally, absolutely dark.
But every year at winter solstice on December 21, the sunrise would shine directly
into the hole and light up the entire room.
We are in Advent- approaching the darkest time of the year.
It is not coincidence that winter solstice and Christmas are right next to each
The church does that to remind us that, Just like the sun lights up that small dark
room at solstice
Jesus’ entry into the world brings light to darkness.
As Christians we are also expected to bring light to darkness.
In the readings we are presented with darkness.
People away from God are in darkness
The teenager in juvinile hall is in darkness
The sick, naked, lonely, and imprisoned are in darkness.
And we as Christians are not asked, not invited- but expected and called to shine light into the darkness of those who are lonely, sick, naked, imprisoned etc.
This Advent the Community we are supporting are the teenagers at Juvinile Hall.
One of the first ways we do this is through prayer.
That is why we gather today to pray for your peers. Other teens who are awaiting trials and sentencing in juvinile hall.
The other way we do this is through charity.
That is why each of us is invited to offer our resources by getting hygiene products, games to help pass the time, clothing, and candy for a special treat.
Finally we do this through Justice.
This means that we educate ourselves about the system.
We read about juvinile hall.
And we work in our community to alleviate the injustice.
Speaking out against racism, sexism and homophobia.
We write our legislators demanding fair trials, adequate funding, and institutional reform.
This is how we shine light in dark places.