2022 Advent Message
The Rt. Rev. Bishop José McLoughlin shares a message for Advent 2022 for the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina. See the full transcript below.
You know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near.
As we walk together toward the Incarnation of Jesus, I often think of Mary, the mother of Jesus. As she prepared for the birth of her child, Mary remained expectant of the goodness of God. As she carried the savior of the world in her womb, Mary magnified God’s promises of justice and mercy, especially for those on the margins and those oppressed. Through the words of the Magnificat recorded in Luke, Mary revealed her deep faith and trust in God’s plan for redemption would be enacted in the world.
As a new season of Advent opens before us, I invite you to join me and reflect on the expectancy of renewed hope. While we know that Jesus always abides with us, we enter a time of anticipation for the inbreaking presence of Christ in new ways. We live expectantly anticipating God’s goodness and grace, even in the midst of challenge and heartache. We live expectantly in the promise of new life being born, even in the midst of death and sorrow.
During Advent we take time each week to light a candle for hope, peace, love, and grace. As each candle in the wreath is lit, our anticipation of the inbreaking of God’s redeeming love grows. While the world around us hustles in the fervency of material preparations, we understand Advent to be a time of slowing down, a time of reflection, a time to watch and perceive the ways God is inviting us to join the holy work of healing, justice and reconciliation. Advent calls us to cultivate the joy of God in our hearts because we have experienced the grace of new life.
As we move into the Advent season, let us together bear witness through word and action the inbreaking love of God.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)