As 2012 becomes 2013, the night is long & the weather cold.
Advent, meaning coming, is that time of preparation & waiting that leads to celebration.
Hope, peace, joy & love are words of intention for the four candles,
one for each week in the season of Advent in the Christian tradition.
As I send out a prayer of gratitude & deep intentional prayer for those affected by tragedy,
I realize that our reading for last week began just this way.
She could have been focussed on her pregnancy as a tragedy.
Instead Mary's Magnificat reflects her hope, peace, joy & love.
She praises God & celebrates God's justice.
Numerous women who are incarcerated here at the Dane County Jail
share a similar view of their experience.
Instead of focusing on the tragedy of their incarceration,
they are grateful to & trust in the Creator that gave them life.
They share in worship their understanding that they have done something wrong
& they have a lesson to learn.
They view God as Mary did; caring, blessing & merciful.
This season I am grateful for what they are teaching me
& pray for all of us who are struggling with tragedy or challenges of life.
God has promised care, blessing & mercy & I will trust in the promise today.