|Advent greetings to you all!
Yes, Advent. That period of about four weeks (or at least 4 Sundays) in the church calendar which leads us up to the celebration of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus.
In a culture in which we are not yet done with Halloween before the Christmas “stuff” shows up on the shelves of the stores; in which that push seems to cause even our historic national celebration of Thanksgiving to be almost lost, given the simultaneous observance of Black Friday (which has now become a week instead of a day); in that rush in which numerous complaints are constantly being lodged of how it (Christmas) seems to start earlier and earlier every year…the fact is I like Advent!
I like it because Advent is a time purposely set aside to ready us for our Christ-mass celebrations by encouraging us not to look only at that wondrous one silent night, but the whole story. It was a frame which actually took place leading up to it for at least nine months and in reality so much longer. It allows me to consider the characters that made the story possible – God, angels, John the Baptizer and his family, Mary and Joseph – in greater depth than just the part they played on one holy day. Through them and their participation in this glorious story Advent gives me the chance to consider again the part I (and you as well) am called to today in that continuing God-story that began so long ago.
We’ll do that together each of the four Sundays in worship in Advent…lighting candles, hearing scripture, sharing in a holy meal, talking together…to explore this amazing story of how our God became human. We’ll do that through engaging these characters and specifically through the “spirits” of hope, peace, love and joy which these ordinary and chosen people exhibited in their Advent time as the storyline of the Lord’s incarnation unfolded.
Please join me and others of our faith community as we take a step back from this whirlwind world around us for just a brief time each week to delve into our Advent time and some Advent spirits (hope, peace, love and joy) that can only add to the glory of God come into our world and still much among us in our lives each day.
The Lord be with you,
Rev. Jimmy Lee Werley