This Sunday, December 3rd, we enter Advent together. Advent is the Church’s “New Year” according to our Liturgical Calendar, and it is a season in which we prepare ourselves for the comings of Jesus. We prepare to celebrate his coming at Christmas; we prepare to receive him coming into our lives each day; we prepare to acknowledge our King when he comes “again in glory to judge the living and the dead.”
Along with the changes in colors and liturgy, this Advent our preparation will include a particular focus on the Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy that flow from the intrusion of the Incarnation. Most of our neighbors will be busy preparing for Christmas, looking for the ephemeral good feelings that come with lights, music, traditions, and gift-giving. We, however, prepare our hearts to see the eternal truth of the Christ-Mass:
…from this day our world is re-aligned;
A tiny seed unfolding in the womb
Becomes the source from which we all unfold
And flower into being. We are healed,
The End begins, the tomb becomes a womb,
For now in him all things are re-aligned.
Advent beckons us to prepare for this re-alignment, and we will spend four weeks wondering about this truth. We Hope, we receive Peace, we experience and express Love, we know Joy because now in Jesus “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). God-in-flesh-and-blood receives into himself your personal history, and all histories, and his death, resurrection, and ascension begin an unyielding movement of restoration that culminates in his Second Coming.
On Saturday, December 2nd, we will create Advent Wreathes to use at home for daily wondering. Sign up here to join us from 10am-11:30am! On Sunday, Advent I, our liturgy and music will further this wondering, along with blessing your creches to be reminders of the “day our world is re-aligned.” (Bring them Saturday or before the services on Sunday!)
Finally, remember that this Sunday also is when we offer our pledge cards to Jesus, beginning this liturgical “New Year” with a commitment to Stewardship, Generosity, and Partnership – remembering that Living is giving; Giving is living, a truth embodied by Jesus…Immanuel…God with us.
Your Pastor in Christ,