Advent & Nelson Mandela

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

~ Nelson Mandela

I was saddened to hear of the death of Nelson Mandela this last week. Mandela was a man who taught us so much about the importance of all of God’s children. He was a man who would not stand by and watch as people were oppressed. He was relentless in his work to make sure everyone was able to experience the God-given freedom we were born with and value. However, in our sadness, we also celebrate this life and all of the work he did. 

It seems to me there is a tie between the life and death of Nelson Mandela and Advent. Each Sunday in Advent we have been lighting an Advent candle that represents a value we strive for, and that Nelson Mandela lived in his life. His death, in the season of Advent, reminds us of how we can embrace each of these values and strive to live them out in our own lives. See the words of our Sunday lighting script and a quote from Nelson Mandela.

 

1st Sunday in Advent - HOPE

It is our unwavering hope that, searching through the shadows of our past, we will be moved, through our traditions, to work toward a more just and healthy world.

"I am not an optimist, but a great believer of hope."

~ Nelson Mandela

2nd Sunday of Advent - PEACE

It is in these moments of stillness that we recognize that it is God who can bring us the true presence of peace. Help us find that peace. Help us to illuminate Your presence to the sick, the hungry and the lonely that they too may find Your peace.

If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.

~ Nelson Mandela

3rd Sunday of Advent - LOVE

Gathering together is a long standing tradition practiced by many, many families. Today we recognize that Love is complicated, and that this can be a very difficult time for those yearning to bridge gaps of distance, differences and discord.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

~ Nelson Mandela

4th Sunday in Advent - JOY

As the light burst forth in our lives, may we be reminded of the joy our community brings to us; and the potential we have to bring joy to others.

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”

~ Nelson Mandela

 

This Advent, as Christians, help us to focus on how each of us might find a way to bring hope, peace, love and joy to this world. 

"Religion is one of the most important forces in the world. Whether you are a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew, or a Hindu, religion is a great force, and it can help one have command of one's own morality, one's own behavior, and one's own attitude."

~ Nelson Mandela

 

Posted on December 10, 2013 at 10:08 am in Featured Content.

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