This year Advent begins November 30 the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Advent is a time of waiting, of quiet preparation for celebrating the Incarnation, God’s willingness to come and live among us in human form. There are a number of ways to prepare, but the main thing we are called to do is pause, as the world calls us to run, to shop,to be caught up in the frenzy of materialism. The season of Advent is the perfect time to allow our relationship with God to become more intimate. Many times in our humanity, we are led astray, and resist God’s invitation to us. It is difficult to hear God’s invitation if we can’t seem to turn down the noise in our lives. But if we are willing to create a quiet space, to hear what God is speaking to our hearts, our relationship with God may be rekindled in ways that might surprise us.
You will see the Advent Wreath in the church and may have one at home that reminds you of the journey these coming weeks. There are outreach opportunities you will read about the – toy drive for children and the Little Red Socks for Bryan’s House that help children affected by Aids/HIV (which is also a way to honor the legacy of Bud Knight and Chet Flake who shepherded this ministry in our parish.)
I invite you to pick up one of the Advent calendars in the Narthex published by the Society of Saint John the Evangelist that will help ground us by focusing on a sacred word each day. Information is provided that will connect you with their website for further reflection. On Tuesday mornings from 10-11:15, beginning on December 2 all are welcome to join our book study in the South Room. We will be reading From Holidays to Holy Days, a Benedictine Walk through Advent, by Albert Holtz. On Sunday mornings at 9:00 come and participate in an Advent study titled The Thrill of Hope, A Christmas Story in Word and Art. This DVD/discussion will take the familiar scriptures of Advent and Christmas and bring them to life through the art of John August Swanson.
As I invite you to create a space during the season of Advent, I am reminded of a line from a song by the Monks of Weston Priory in Vermont, Come back to me with all your heart, don’t let fear keep us apart… Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life.
article written by: The Rev. Joy A. Daley