A special welcome to Rev John van de Laar. John is a Methodist Minister who travels widely helping local churches around the country to deepen our understanding and experience of worship. Enjoy his gifts.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent—which means, according to the Christian Calendar, today is New Year. Yes, our New Year begins today and it begins with four weeks of expectant preparation to welcome Jesus. We call the this adventurous season, Advent. Jan Richardson writes:
Advent is a dance set to the rhythm of waiting. We wait for the holy, we wait for the birth, we wait for the light. In our haste to make it to Christmas, we often fill our waiting with frantic steps. We may dance a frenzied tarantella of shopping, baking, Christmas card writing, decorating, and caring for others. We wear ourselves out in the process and then wonder why our spirits sink after the holidays. Or we may dance a slow, painful dance of aloneness, wishing that the images of happy, prosperous families and friends would hurry up and pass for another year. In this season, Mary reminds us that Advent waiting is an intricate, intimate process of receiving and bringing forth, of movement and stillness, of pain and joy, of darkness and light, of solitude and community. In pregnancy, one does not choose between these extremes; they are not opposites to be separated. Rather, pregnancy is a constant process of incorporating, of embodying, of integrating. In the intimate darkness of the womb, God continually weaves new life. Advent reminds us that we are a pregnant people, for God calls each of us to bring forth the Christ….the holy….
Well if you didn’t know you were pregnant …now you do! Alan