Sunday, November 27, 2011


Happy New Year! The church year begins with Advent - the four-week period that concludes with Christmas. Traditionally, it was a time for prayer, fasting and penitence. (Today, we’re too busy for prayer, inclined to over-eat and penitence is not exactly top-of-mind.)

The dictionary defines advent (with a lower case a) as the coming or arrival of something extremely important. And that’s what Advent (with a capital A) is all about. The church lexicon is incarnation: the arrival of God on our planet in human form. We were visited by God!

As Paul wrote to the Colossians: (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God…God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him. 

(from Colossians 1:15-19)

As John reports Jesus’ own words: Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. (from John 14:9)

Indeed, we were visited by God. It was a material, physical event - beginning with the birth of Jesus in the Bethlehem stable. The arrival of someone extremely important. It merits serious reflection over the next four weeks!

Lord, I’m ready for Advent!

Candles glow from every window.
1500 mini-bulbs twinkle on my shrubs.
...but I’m in need of illumination.

Help me, Lord, to answer St. Paul’s Advent wake-up call:
The hour has come…to wake up from your slumber…the night is nearly over; the day is almost here…put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:11-12)

Help me, Lord, to stand in that light, to stand still and quiet in the light of Jesus Christ. To feel peace and joy. To notice the angels, shepherds and wise men that you put in my path each day.

Help me, Lord, to reflect that light, to share that the Apostle John described it:
The true light that gives light to every man… (John 1:9)

Thank you, Lord, for our Savior, your Son,
Jesus the Christ. Jesus the light.