Advent is my favorite time of the year! I love the dichotomy that exists between the cool, fresh air with the blanket of gentle darkness and the vivid lights reminding us that something extraordinary is upon us. At home we take out a box of decorations that help us to mark time throughout the month of December; there are candles, wreaths, storybooks and special calendars. There are decorations at church, too, along with special music and words of promise and expectation that come through our gospel lessons. I am reminded that each of these advent days are special – full of promise, hope and expectancy. This season of waiting, anticipating and preparing feels like a sacred invitation to still my mind and quiet my heart.
The invitation for quiet and contemplation comes in the midst of the frantic and dynamic cries of our culture that tell us how many days we have left to shop, bake, create, spend, mail or indulge in the season’s abundant festivities. This persistent voice seems to point out all that we are missing and can cause our waiting to become anxious and worrisome.
When I think about this anxiety that our culture seems to create as we go through these days of advent, I am reminded of the world that Jesus Christ entered as an infant. It too was full of uncertainty, violence, greed, war and misappropriation of power and resources. Yet, Jesus came, right into the midst of it all – full of power and love for all people. And he continues to come boldly right into the midst of our imperfect lives. He brings light into our dark places, peace beyond our understanding and the promise that the gift of Jesus Christ, born in a cattle stall, is for us.
While we wait together through this advent season you and I are in the midst of our own seasons of anticipation and hope. You are waiting on the call committee as they discern a permanent associate pastor candidate and I am waiting to see where God is calling me to live out my call to ministry. My prayer for both of us is that we make room to see God’s light calling us forth and rest in His peace as we journey through the many advent seasons of our lives.
Happy Advent! It is a privilege to be waiting with you!