Pastor Amanda Bergstrom

All is Calm. All is Bright

Pastor Amanda Bergstrom

All is calm, all is bright . . . except when it’s not all calm and bright. Things, life, the world, everything is not usually all calm and bright, but in the stillness and quiet, in the scripture and songs of tradition and resistance, and even in tentative greetings of hope and joy- the calming peace of Christ and bright light of the world somehow breaks through all the unsettled chaos and the dim dreariness- and for a moment all might be calm and bright.

I love and long for moments that give us a glimpse of the promise of the Christ child. In this season of Advent, waiting and preparing for Christmas, I often find fleeting calm and brightness in the reflected light of fresh snowflakes, the calm of a warm place to rest after being out in the cold, the decorative lights that adorn trees or buildings, and in the candles we will light in worship.

During weekend worship services, we’ll pause for the lighting of the Advent wreath, one candle to visually mark each of the four weeks of the season.

During Wednesday evening Holden Evening Prayer, we’ll process with a large candle and we will sing these declarations of faith: “Jesus Christ, you are the light of the world; the light no darkness can overcome;” and “Great and mighty are you, O Holy One, strong is your justice strong your love.” And during Christmas Eve worship services, we’ll sing of that silent holy night, where all is calm and bright, as we light candles and hold the light of Christ in our hands.

And in that song and action we boldly declare that even when all is not calm or bright in our lives or the world, there is a holy wonder in the birth of Christ, and that wondrous night of his birth still makes a difference in ushering in God’s peace today.

May this season bring moments of calm and brightness, of peace and joy, of quiet reflection, and of joyful sounds of silence and praise; may this Advent and Christmastime reorient our lives to the promise of Jesus’ birth.

Pastor Amanda Bergstrom

Email Pastor Amanda ~ ABergstrom@gracewoodstock.org