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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

That “to do” list

Dear Ones,

The Holy season of Advent is upon us. All of the seasons of the church year help us in a spiritual way mark the times and passages of our lives. Right alongside birthdays and anniversaries; Christmastide, Eastertide, Advent, and Lent mark those liminal times of growth and change.

Being new to St Luke’s, this is a liminal time in my life. I am so grateful to be here! I am grateful and excited for this new ministry. The “meet the Rector dinners” have been a wonderful way for me to get to know you and see that this is a liminal, deeply spiritual time for you as well.

The Season of Advent calls us to wakefulness, hopefulness, and to waiting in anticipation. However, except for the unique perspective of children, it doesn't seem like there is much waiting that happens in the season leading up to Christmas. Instead our “to do” list becomes long and our activity more frenetic as we try to fit everything in. I have some suggestions for you, with the hope that these spiritual practices do not represent more things to add to an already overcrowded to do list, but instead that they might bring focus and intentionality to this holy season. My hope is that these practices will ground us so that we might be blessed by the miracle and the wonder of the incarnation.

If you are not already doing so, try following a daily devotion. You can order online Forward Day by Day, (various authors) for $2.99, this is also available in audio version. You can even have Advent devotions sent to your email inbox daily! Short, but profoundly meaningful are the meditations from SSJE “Brother, give us a word”. Every morning I get a daily word by email from the Brothers of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist. Check it out at (It’s free) I have also used the book While We Wait: Living the questions of Advent by Mary Lou Redding.

Make an Advent wreath, and light a candle each day/week before dinner to remember what's season is about.

Finally try modifying a few things on your “to do” list like this:

As we wait, in this holy season of Advent, may your families be blessed with wonder and love, and may each of our hearts be open to discerning what God has in store for our parish community in this new chapter, asking the Holy Spirit to make incarnate and reveal to us our shared mission.