Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Prelude: It's All About the Waiting

Patience is a virtue, and that virtue is really apparent when it comes to the season of Advent, when kids are excited about Santa coming and can’t wait to open gifts, and people are frustrated as they wait in lines to pay for their purchases. For our society that relies so much on devices that are time-saving and communications that are immediate, waiting and patience are words that don’t seem to exist anymore.

However, the journey from Advent 1 to Epiphany unfolds as all good stories should, step by step. It begins with the longing, the waiting, the anticipation, and finally the birth, the angels and shepherds, and the wise men.

It seems the bigger Christmas (or the “holiday season” as advertising calls it) has become, the more Christmas has swallowed up Advent…the secular culture ignores Advent, as there isn’t much money to be made on patience or waiting. So, the Christmas music continues in the malls, the decorations start to go up in October, and the themes of Advent—hope, peace, joy, and love—are largely ignored.

~From the Newsletter of Lake of The Woods Chapel, Sioux Narrows, Ont.

Advent is the four weeks before Christmas. Advent is our opportunity, as a church, to make the journey, “step by step,” from anticipation to celebration while we mark the days from Christ the King Sunday to Christmas Eve. Advent is a symbolic journey of preparation as we too make our way to the stable to join choirs of angels and the shepherds and wise men who worship Christ the new-born King.

The author of the newsletter invites us to a sacred Advent journey and I join her. Each week we’ll open our worship service with the liturgy of light. We’ll light one Advent candle per week as a way of focusing our attention on those beautiful themes: hope, peace, joy, and love.

As the light of hope, peace, joy and love grows brighter each week, give thanks for the wonderful gift God has given us. Give thanks for the new life we share through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Prepare the way, O Zion, Your Christ is drawing near!
Let every hill and valley, A level way appear.
Greet One who comes in glory, Foretold in sacred story.
O Blest is Christ that came, In God’s most holy name!


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