Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame again by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light – Albert Schweitzer

Dona nobis pacem is Latin for “grant us peace”.  We will be singing, humming, or being held up by others singing “dona nobis pacem” over and over again this weekend, at the Embodying Advent retreat.

Thank God, I say.  My heart is heavy with the news in Ferguson.  It’s all miserable.  My heart breaks for the family of Michael Brown, and the Black community in Ferguson that is overwhelmed with outrage and deep, deep frustration.  My heart breaks for Officer Wilson and his family.  It’s all miserable.

When I started planning the retreat I didn’t know how much I needed to pray “dona nobis pacem”.   Now, I think it’s about the only prayer that makes any sense to me. My heart is also heavy for the many friends for whom Thanksgiving is a painful juxtaposition of emotions.  Broken relationships, depression, stupid %$#@ cancer, loneliness, financial stress, anxiety; all of it can make Thanksgiving feel like a mean joke is being played on you.

Advent is a time of waiting in hopeful expectation for the light of God to enter the world.  This isn’t just a sweet and subtle hope.  It’s a fierce, strong, and deep hope that grows deep in you, like hot burning embers.  We are in desperate need of the light of God’s hope, love, peace, and joy.  We all desperately need each other to keep the fire of our hope burning within us.  We can’t let it go out.  We need each other.

Even if you can’t be at the retreat this weekend, I invite you to join our humble choir and sing, hum, or be carried along with the prayer of Dona Nobis Pacem; Grant Us Peace.  Google it, if you don’t know the tune.  Join in and we’ll fan the flames of hope within us.   And that fire of hope will shine great light in the darkness.  Let’s do this, for the love of all things.

Peace on your fine head,

Rachel

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