"Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendor of glory from God forever." Bar 5:1
Because we so often fail to live our values deeply and authentically, we find ourselves mourning and in misery, unable to see the glory of God all around us, and what a shame it is when this happens. We suffer a small hurt or don't feel especially well and we lose track of where and who we are. The Jewish people, unable to hear the prophets cries to reform their lives, find themselves in exile and slavery, but Baruch reminds them that all is not lost.
The prophet and Advent itself challenge us to let go of mourning and remember we are God's glorious creation. No matter what we do or how often we fail to live our faith, God is waiting and willing to be born in us again. We have only to let God dwell within and among us for everything to be different. Because a few Jews, even in exile, never failed to honor the one God and keep holy the Sabbath, God forgave everyone their sins. The same gift can be ours if only we ask for it.
Of course, this is often more difficult to do than we imagine. When we enter personal or family dark periods, it can seem almost impossible to look up, recognize all the good around us and celebrate that even in our mourning we are loved, but the Advent readings urge us never to give up and always to try again.
Today, put on the splendor of God by taking a slow walk to appreciate the great gifts of creation.
What gifts of God usually help you to put off darkness and cloth yourselves in light?