December 2018

“Advent is the time of promise; it is not yet the time of fulfillment. We are still in the midst of everything and in the logical inexorability and relentlessness of destiny.…Space is still filled with the noise of destruction and annihilation, the shouts of self-assurance and arrogance, the weeping of despair and helplessness. But round about the horizon the eternal realities stand silent in their age-old longing. There shines on them already the first mild light of the radiant fulfillment to come. From afar sound the first notes as of pipes and voices, not yet discernable as a song or melody. It is all far off still, and only just announced and foretold. But it is happening, today.”
― Alfred Delp, Advent of the Heart: Seasonal Sermons and Prison Writings, 1941-1944

The Advent Season is now upon us, Thanksgiving Day has passed (as has Black Friday and Cyber Monday), and we approach our first Sunday of Advent. On this day, we will be reminded to be people of Hope. We will light the first Advent candle, fill the sanctuary with great music, and reflect on the way that the people of our biblical story continued to hope in God, despite the many obstacles and hurdles in their lives.

The sanctuary decorations will be in place (thanks to our dedicated volunteers), lights will shine, and we will be reminded that as we continue to hope, we can all be carriers of God’s grace and love. And we will be reminded of the “now/not yet” characteristic of our faith. The notion that the Spirit of God is in our midst, even as we long for a more profound encounter with the Divine.

We kick off our Advent programming with our Annual Advent Celebration this Sunday night. This is always a great start to our approach to Christmas. RSVP soon to the church office.

As we move toward the end of December, and the shortening of the days, we remind ourselves that light continues to shine in the darkness – and that a single flickering candle can still illumine the dark spaces. Advent is a time when we remind ourselves of the ways that Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love make our God known and manifest in the world. It is a time of waiting, but also a time of celebration.

Our December calendars will quickly fill with tasks to be accomplished, shopping trips to make, home preparations to complete, and decorations to hang. In the midst of our busy schedules, I look forward to our times together, as we make space to listen, pray, sing, and celebrate.

Wishing you many blessings this season,

Jim