What Does Advent Really Mean To You?
Our Christian friends who don’t observe the holy, penitent season of Advent often jump straight from the Thanksgiving table to placing the star on Christmas tree. The holidays can be exciting as we reconnect with family, friends and celebrate together: it’s one of God’s greatest gifts, this joy of being alive and sharing food and fun with others who love us. But for those Christians whose traditions do observe Advent, this season can stymie us: as the world starts singing carols on December 1st (or earlier!), how do we avoid being judgmental? How can we rightly observe Advent’s anticipation and repentance as we prepare for the coming of the Christ child, when we’re surrounded by a world that “doesn’t get it"? These are the circumstances that Lutherans hold in tension as we try to balance ourselves in Advent, hopping from one foot in a daily secular existence to the other foot that seeks to know and encounter the eternal, Living God in Christ Jesus.
This Advent, our Epiphany faith community asks you to “stop hopping” and withdraw for a few moments, to fully enter God’s holy presence, in an experience of peace, stillness and reflection. Come join us for Midweek Advent worship, on Wednesdays December 5, 12, and 19, from 6-6:45pm in Schaeffer Memorial Chapel. We’ll examine what it means to participate in Advent discipline by discussing, “What are you watching and waiting for this Advent season?” or “How does Christ bring joy to your life?” and “What does it mean to bear fruit in Advent?” After worship, anyone who would like to go to dinner together as a group is invited to do so, to continue the discussion, or to socialize. The main point of Advent is to reflect on your faith life; consider how you might deepen your spiritual practices and prepare yourself to encounter Christ, the only Son of God who comes to us as an innocent baby on a cold winter night. If you can’t join us for Midweek Advent worship, then I hope you’ll make plans to attend our annual Christmas Caroling at the Garden and adult fellowship on December 8, or our Candlelight Christmas Eve worship service with carols and holy communion on Dec 24, at 5pm. All are welcome. All are beloved. All may be forgiven, thanks to Jesus, who lights our way as we walk in this life. Thanks be to God!
Peace to all here,