Here we are at the beginning of Advent, a season that is one of my favorites. Advent invites us to slow down amidst one of the busiest times of the year. We are invited to be quiet and to pray. It is a season of waiting and preparation. The scripture readings during this season focus our attention both on the coming of the Christ Child and of Jesus’ coming again. Unlike Lent, where we often turn our thoughts inward, in Advent we turn our thoughts to what the coming of Christ means for us, for our families, and for the world. We often talk about themes of hope, peace, joy, and love.
This year more than ever before, I feel the need to prepare. This year our world has been filled with sickness, death, economic distress and racial inequality. At church our regular routines of worship, fellowship and caring for one another have been upended. Even many of our personal lives have been challenged by stress or loneliness. Thankfully, even in this season of darkness, there are signs of hope and light.
It looks as though there will be much to celebrate in the year to come. New, effective vaccines are on their way which promise to bring us relief and to restore some normality to our lives. Our church has called a new rector, and Nick and his family will soon be with us to help lead Parish of the Epiphany into a new chapter. There will also be new leadership in our country that pledges to build bridges and to work for the good of all people.
Of course, none of these things in and of themselves, will solve all of our problems. We all need to play a role in bettering our lives, our families, our church, our country and our world. We won’t return to everything being the same. Things will be different, and we will need find new ways to fit in. During this time of preparation, my prayers are going to be focused on what role I am supposed to play. I don’t know when those answers will come, but I do know that I look forward to celebrating the light of Christ coming into this world very soon. I also look forward to gradually finding the new ways in which I am supposed to take that light into the world.