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Advent Musings from the Minister’s Laptop

December 3, 2014

and again Isaiah says, ‘The root of Jesse shall come, the one who rises to rule the Gentiles; in him the Gentiles shall hope.’
13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Hope, As Confidence
-Romans 15:12-13 NRSV

About a week ago I had a “perfect moment.” Now what is a “perfect moment” you may ask? Well let me tell you about it then I will explain. It occurred after lunch on a Saturday. Bert, my nephew and a family friend were sitting at our long kitchen table, all deep in thought over their next chess move. Classic music danced in the air, as each sat with a hot chocolate cooling in front of them as the wood fire cracked in the stove. I had just sat down with my own warm cup in front of me as I took in the scene in front of me, husband and these two young boys, and I realized that I was having a “perfect moment.” My next thought was to thank the Lord for that “perfect moment.”

You see “perfect moments” don’t last long. Usually they are over by the time you realize that they are even happening. The trick to “perfect moments” is to be ready for them. They can’t be fabricated even though we may try, and they usually spring up at the most unlikely of times and places. They happen when your baby decides to walk or when your newly adopted child calls you Mom or Grandpa for the first time. “Perfect moments” happen when snow flies all around you and you feel like you are in the middle of a just shaken snow globe. “Perfect moments” happen after a long day when your spouse says, “I’ll cook for you tonight honey.” The trick with “perfect moments” is to be ready for them to happen, believe that they will happen, even if you don’t know exactly when they will show up.

The scriptures we will be reading in community during Advent are all about being awake, being ready, making ready and being on the lookout for what God is up to. “Perfect moments” allow us to see that God is in the world even in the most mundane but nonetheless special moments of our lives. Advent is a time to make our spirit ready for what God has to show us. Winter itself is a time to slow down, take stock, re-energize and plan for what is too come. It may mean adopting a new spiritual practice like prayer beads to help focus your prayer life, or Lectio Divina to help open up the scriptures for you.

Here at St. Paul’s lots of planning is underway to ready our hearts for the Advent and Christmas season. Messy Church, Guitar Sunday’s, Children’s Choir, Bible Study, White Gift, God at the Cinema, Pie Making, Angel Tree, Creative Worship, Confirmation Classes all provide ways of deepening our faith, of expressing and experiencing our faith in word and action. Each activity on offer at St. Paul’s provides a way to live and breathe the Good News. It is my hope that by engaging in the life of St. Paul’s and by nourishing your own inner life, you will be more open to realize that a “perfect moment” has happened.

May your Advent, Christmas and Epiphany bring you closer to the Good News found in this season.

Blessings,
Rev. Carla Marie Van Delen

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