First Sunday of Advent: Hope

When I was 14 I spent a summer on the islands that line the coast of Georgia. It was a science and ecology camp and we spent most days studying sea creatures or discussing the ecology of the sulfur scented marshes. One evening stands out particularly in my mind. It was the night of the new moon, and the counselors took us down to the shore by flashlight. The area was a wildlife preserve and had none of the boardwalk lights I typically associated with a beach. I remember thinking the stars were especially bright in the absence of artificial