We are going through something. Beware. Stay alert. Look. These are the words that Advent repeats so that we might be present to this moment. Advent doesn’t promise us it will all be wonderful, but challenges us to keep awake.
Over 200,00 people have died in this coronavirus pandemic. Advent has even begun and the numbers will only increase to include our neighbors, uncles, aunts, friends, teachers, coaches, pastors and countless others.
Perhaps there have been years where you were ready to deck the halls. You relished in the twinkly lights lit up all over town, but this year is different. Grief has come. Your heart has broken and so you can't approach Christmas as you did before.
This year, you need more space to tend to your sorrow and loss. You don't want to push these emotions away but feel that rawness echoed in sacred scripture and you want to find a trusted circle to share in naming every lamentation of 2020.
Through selections from scripture and conversation prompts, this discussion guide seeks to lead a group of brave souls to name the losses of this year. Following the four weeks of Advent, the group members are invited into individual exploration with a brief reflection and prayerful questions before the group meets. When the group meets, presumably via internet connection, a template for the conversation is provided so that this small group might practice in naming what hurts most and hopefully finding again that God is here.