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Advent Musings from the Minister’s Keyboard

November 28, 2010

Advent 2016

A Letter from the Vicar’s Desk

“Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord. The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ “

–Jeremiah 23:3-6 (NRSV)

Busy, busy, busy. We are a busy people. We have things to do and people to meet. We have lists and agendas, online memos and Facebook memes to tell us that Christmas is coming and boy do we have things to do between now and then! At Christmas time you could say that we all come down with a case of “busy-itis.”

Like so many, I too suffer from busy-itis. I want Christmas to be meaningful and beautiful for all those that come through the doors of the church. I want to have plays and lively music selections, book studies and craft events that provide as much opportunity as possible, for as many people as possible, to engage in the season. Not to mention family and friends, animals and in-laws (not necessarily in that order of course) that I want to spend time with.

Unfortunately there is no cream or pill for busy-itis. There is only the intentionality that we bring to this season of preparation. There is a reason why we don’t jump to the joy of Christmas hymns before we have prepared ourselves with the in-between time of Advent. The preparing time of Advent can help us to set aside the things that aren’t really that important in our lives. Advent can help us put our whole year, our life in perspective by inviting us to sit and listen to what God is calling us to be and do in our life and in our community. We are about to enter a time of preparation that doesn’t really have to do with vacuuming under the beds, putting out the guest towels, or stuffing the turkey but rather making ready our hearts to receive what the season has to reveal to us.

So perhaps the mind frame that we might bring to this season is quiet, peace and tranquility. Perhaps we can be kind to ourselves when we do inevitably get busy-itis and forget to take the time to just be in the moment.

This season be kind to yourselves and be kind to one another because we just don’t know what our neighbour might be going through.

So sit. Be. Listen. Embrace the peace, hope, love and joy promises of the season.

May you and yours have a very blessed Advent and a Joyous Christmas season.

Blessings,

Rev. Carla, Bert and the dogs

 

Advent 2010

“A young woman will conceive and bear a child, and the child shall be called Emmanuel, a name which means ‘God is with us.’” -Matthew 1:23

Let the chaos begin! Many of you have probably noticed that the Christmas Season just seems to be starting earlier and earlier every year. Recently, I heard one person say that as she shopped for back to school items at one large big box store, you could also pick up a plastic Christmas tree if you felt the need to. Perhaps the advertising world is taking the “waiting of Advent” a bit too seriously. The wait is actually becoming longer and longer. But maybe we can use this extended season to actually help us focus. For when you think about it, what is the message of the season after all? Many churches use the Advent wreath with its candles of various colours to symbolize the love, hope, peace and joy that came into human form with the birth of Jesus. With the coming into the world of Jesus, a set of ideals, a set of beliefs became physical. A precious gift wrapped in the human form of a child.

So it is no wonder that the Christmas season has as part of its celebration the giving of gifts.

Gift giving is a physical way of manifesting our internal beliefs. But instead of gifts with price tags attached, why not tie your gift up with a bow of love? Gifts of time and talent are sometimes much more valuable and meaningful than an expensive gift could ever be. Things like visiting, donating of time to a food bank, dropping off hygiene products for Centre 507 or shoveling the walkway for a neighbour are all things that require us to give of ourselves with no thought of getting a gift in return. That is the true spirit of gift giving. But if you are looking for the perfect gift why not enjoy the hunt at one of the many second hand stores and thrift shops in our city. With a gift from one of these stores not only will you be “green” by following the motto of reduce, reuse and recycle but the proceeds from the purchase provide valuable necessities, jobs and skills to those in our community. What could be better than that? Hope, joy, peace and love: just what the season should be about.

May the Light of Christ shine brightly in your home this Advent and Christmas Season

Rev. Carla

 

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