Dear Christ Church,
At our Parish Retreat Erin Moniz told the story of one of her professors who asked the class “What time is it?” Someone answered, predictably, with the precise clock time. The professor asked again and again until people began to give answers like, “It’s time for me to make a difficult decision” and “It’s time for me to reconcile with my Dad” and “It’s time for hope.” The professor’s point was made: we operate, simultaneously, on different planes of time.
As the church, our timepiece is the church calendar. It orients our lives around the story of Jesus and his kingdom, the story we retell every year. On Sunday November 26th (Christ the King Sunday) that story concludes, and we begin again on December 3rd (Advent I). After participating with Jesus in his extraordinary life, ministry, and passion (Advent, Christmastide, Epiphany, Lent)–and having been empowered by the Holy Spirit for ordinary and holy living (Pentecost, aka “Ordinary Time”)–we proclaim on Christ the King Sunday that Jesus reigns over all. He reigns over every broken system, rebellious heart, violent conflict and war, every disease and disaster, and all suffering we experience in our lives.
Then we pivot immediately from Christ the King to Advent, an expression of our longing for our King and his kingdom to come. Advent means “The Coming.” Advent gives expression to our yearnings for things to be set right in our life and in our world. Advent lends voice to our ache for beauty and goodness to reign even now, in part, and in fullness when the true King of creation comes again in glory. We wait, we eagerly anticipate, we yearn for the “burning edge of dawn.”
We’ve put together this page of resources for you to facilitate participation in Advent, and a Parish Quiet Day that Christine Warner will facilitate Dec. 9 (see below). We hope that it helps you to enter into this season with gratitude that Jesus came in the flesh, that he daily comes to us now, and that he will come again, once for all, to make all things new.
PS This Thanksgiving I give greatest thanks for you and all who have been part of our community the past 18 years. God has used you to teach and inspire me, and has made you a prism through which I get glimpses of Him.