First Advent Sunday: A dream of peace

Candle Litany and Prayer



 The deeper the darkness

The brighter the light shines.

For love refuses to be extinguished by depari.

Risilience and hope cannot be quenched

While the light of love burns steadily,

Fueled by courage and compassion.

Look for the light and there you will find love.

We light this first Advent Candle and we pray:



 Come Lord Jesus!

Today we light the Candle of expectation & hope.

We are waiting, we are watching and we are witnessing. Amen.



It is the first Sunday of Advent. It is the first Sunday of the season of Advent – the season of hope and expectations. So today we light the first candle: and let it be a candle of hope and of expectation. Let the single flame today remind us to be awake and ready as  we wait for the Lord  and as we prepare for the coming celebration of Christmas. Let the candle instill in us to be filled with hope and expectations.

Today we are told to believe. To be awake. To be ready. In fact it was Jesus himself who told us to be ready at any time.

Today that call is embodied in the first candle and in all the wonderful readings and hymns today when we embark on our Advent journey 2016.  The call to look for God in unexpected place and at unexpected times.

Today we watch, we wait and we witness.

We watch for the candle and the flame of hope.

We wait for more candles to be lit and the flames of hope to be stronger.

We witness that we do believe that light is stronger than darkness and that love is stronger than despair.

We watch, we wait and we witness.

The deeper the darkness the brighter the light shines. Just make the simple experiment: two rooms next to each other with a door separating the spaces. One room is dark, pitch black as all light is blocked out. The other room has a single lamp lit over the table.

Now let the battle begin! Open the door and darkness will retreat immediately, as the light from the other room will flow into the darkness. It is not the other way: that darkness will flow into the light and swallow the light. No light will overcome darkness, light will always swallow the darkness.

The deeper the darkness, the brighter the light shines. And so – we believe and confess today – love refuses to be extinguished by despair. Look for the light, and there you will find life and love.

We wait, we watch and we witness.

And we do confess our boldest and strongest faith in an unquenchable light fueled by courage and compassion, resilience and hope.

So today on this first day of Advent, we gather to light candles of hope and to watch for and wait for and witness about the unexpected in unexpected places and times.

That is what our hopes and dreams are made of.

We dream God’s dream of a world at peace:

·       where enemies are reconciled and children can play in safety;

·       where the poor and the powerless finally will find justice;

·       where God will judges the nations and finally beat the swords of terror and war into peaceful productive plowshares and the deadly spears into pruning cultivating hooks.

·       We dream God’s dream of a world at peace, where nation will not lift up sword against nations and nobody will learn war anymore…

That is the dream of God. That someday, somehow, somewhere, our world of terror, war and enmity, will be a world of peace, love and unity.

That is the dream that the world of ours founded United Nations one, - and thus on Biblical terms and Religious images made God’s Dream our united dream of the world. Visible by these Isaiah lines carved in stone at UN In New York.

John Lennon sang about it so beautifully in his ode to peace: “Imagine”


Imagine there's no heaven

It's easy if you try

No hell below us

Above us only sky

Imagine all the people

Living for today... Aha-ah...


Imagine there's no countries

It isn't hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion, too

Imagine all the people

Living life in peace... You...


You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will be as one


Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people

Sharing all the world... You...


You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will live as one


Imagine…. We are today: imagining and dreaming the dream of God and the dream of hope. The cynical world may say we are dreamers, but I hope we are not the only ones.

The beautiful images from Isaiah about the transformation of weapons of war into tools of farming, - is the dream and the hope that we carry with us through the days of Advent.  It is not a naïve dream, it is a God given dream.

And as a church we are built on hope and not despair, we are built on love not hate, we are built on faith and not only rational knowledge.

With the old Prophets words we long and dream about God as the one settling all international disputes, making wars utterly unnecessary, yes in fact obsolete.

We dream and long for a time when our human path will be Gods path and we will no longer study war. Instead we will transform the swords into stoves and washing machines and the spears into laptops and windmills.

Just imagine…. And I know, I know, I know…

With the violence in our streets and the terrorism dominating our news and fears, we may find this vision hard to believe even more to imagine.

But dreams are made by imagination, expectations, and hopes.

So today we begin yet another new liturgical year in church – and we do so in hope and faith.

We gather for worship to hear about God’s dream, the old prophesies and the calling to us to believe, to act and to be. The call for us to watch, the wait and witness.

We do also believe that we encounter God in unexpected ways and unexpected place and unexpected times. We need to be awake, alert and ready. We need to commit to be a part of this dream of God and be ready to act when needed.

We begin with 1 candle.

Make us ready to meet and greet God in unexpected places and times…. And make us bold enough to believe in Gods dream of peace: to believe that God dreamt this dream with us and send Jesus Christ to embrace the dream and embrace us on the journey.

Let this Advent truly be filled with hope, expectations, light and dreams of a better and brighter world of peace. AMEN.