Cross and Anchors statue in foreground with snow covered campus

December 18, 2021

Saturday of the Third Week of Advent
By James McDonough '19 


The holidays are marketed as a time of joy and happiness. Bright lights, cheery songs, and feasts permeate the nature of the season. But for all the tidings of goodwill, the holiday season can also be a time of deep sadness and sorrow. Think in your own life of the people for whom the holidays are a difficult time. Think of yourself last Christmas when the uncertainty that COVID brought seemed overwhelming. The holidays are both joyful and sorrowful.

We turn toward Scripture and see that the characters of Christmas were also filled with joy and sorrow. Think how scared Mary was when the angel Gabriel announced Jesus' Incarnation, how angry Zechariah was when God sealed his lips, how betrayed Joseph was when Mary revealed her pregnancy, how confused the Shepherds were when the angels proclaimed Jesus' birth, or how weary the Magi were after crossing the continent.

A myriad of emotions at the holidays is nothing new.

But where is our hope? Are we relegated to positive and negative for the foreseeable future? No. I find an answer to these questions in the show Ted Lasso. After a tough loss, Coach Lasso gives a talk to his players saying, "I promise you, there is something worse out there than being sad. And that is being alone and being sad. Ain’t no one in this room alone." Scripture tells us: Christ "shall be called Immanuel, God with us." Here and ever after we are not alone -- God is with us.

To read today's readings and all readings this Advent Season, please visit