|Posted by Canon Linda Nixon on December 7, 2014 at 8:55 PM|
Happy Advent everyone!
This past year has gone by very quickly! We have much to be thankful for and still so much to look forward to!
It is in that looking ahead that sometimes we forget to look at the present. Advent is a season in the church that has the intention of asking us to slow down and think about the moment, the right now.
Yes it is preparation for the birth of Jesus, but so much happened in that waiting period so long ago that we need moments to take it all in. Taking it all in, means better understanding of what happened then and what it means for us.
The bumper sticker campaign, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” is only useful if you know who Jesus is and the what, when, where, why and who of the situation. Otherwise it can seem like an inside code. Why is Jesus the reason is a perfectly honest question in today’s world. So many people have not heard the story of Jesus from beginning to end.
Advent is meant to be the time to help break the code. Get to know the story of Jesus’ birth from the beginning. Look at each of the players from different perspectives.
This advent story really begins with Elizabeth and Zechariah. Poor Zechariah, a priest struck speechless. (personally I can’t imagine) These two living lives similar to Sarah and Abraham are blessed by a visit from the angel Gabriel and their lives change for ever. We see that a lot in our Bible stories. God or God’s angel visit and your life is forever changed.
Joseph and Mary take a starring role in the stories for Advent. Their lives too are changed in many challenging ways. John the Baptist, now there’s a character for you, how could we ever relate to him? Emperor Augustus, the people of Judea, the shepherds and angels, the innkeepers who turned Mary away and the one who shared the stable are all important players in our foundational Christmas story. Of course we carry the story on to the visit of the Magi as well so they are important, too.
Through the richness of our scripture we meet amazing people. Advent is a call to step back and get to know them. It is an opportunity to take time to see if there are parallels in your life to theirs.
So I encourage you to sit with these Advent stories and reflect on how God has changed your life, how God has blessed your life, and how we are called to respond.
There will be services on Dec. 3, 10 and 17 in the evening (see schedule) where we will get an opportunity to be still, listen, reflect and pray.
It is my hope that we can journey through Advent in celebration, thanksgiving and deeper understanding so that our Christmas will be even more meaningful each year.
God Bless each of you and those you love and cherish, this day and always!
In the peace of Christ,