Advent


Reading the Hebrew Scripture assigned for yesterday I was struck by the words “… on that day [that is, on the day of judgement] … the earth will be desolate because of its inhabitants, for the fruits of their doing.”  And I found myself thinking about gardens.  The garden of Eden, the paradise of the creation story.  The song, Woodstock, where “we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.”  The garden worked by members of this congregation to feed those in need in this community. (more…)

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My wife sent me a link to a new blog that I’ve now linked (see my blogroll):  The Hardest Question.  There is a list of (heavy hitting) contributors, but the first article I read all the way through did not seem to be on that list:  Danielle Shroyer.  She wrote a piece on this Sunday’s gospel called Prophets are Terrible Dinner Guests.  If the title grabs your interest, please do follow the link!

So here is something else from my clergy writer’s group.  Remember, these are timed writes, one quick draft only that ends when time is out.  This happened back before Christmast during Advent:

Expectations.  Pleasing other people.  We all have them.  We all do it.  Face it:  if we didn’t meet some expectations and please some people, we wouldn’t have jobs.  We wouldn’t have families.  We couldn’t function. (more…)

Well, Advent got off to the best start for me I’ve ever had.  And yet as I round the corner into the third week of Advent, I find myself humbled. (more…)

Well, I feel like I’m in Advent already!

Yes, I know, it’s still Thanksgiving Day, and Advent doesn’t come until this Sunday.  But at our service this morning, after talking a little about Jamestown and the first Thanksgiving Day, I shared a little reflection by Sam Portaro (again from Bightest and Best)  where he links Thanksgiving Day and Advent.  He begins with today’s gospel and the image of the lilies of the field.  And he links those to Mary and her pregancy which is a major piece of what we remember in Advent. (more…)

For my Advent discipline this year I’m going to be reading “God With Us” (Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas), Edited by Greg Pennoyer and Gregory Wolfe.  It features daily writing for Advent (and for feasts through Epiphany) by such writers as Scott Cairns, Emilie Griffin, Richard John Neuhaus, Kathleen Norris, Eugene Peterson and Luci Shaw.  I’ve already done some browsing.

The major question for me was whether to wait for Advent and live through the season day by day with the book, or to start tomorrow (and maybe be able to use what I’m reading in the week ahead.  I’m pretty sure at this point I’m going to start tomorrow, hoping that I can use some of what I’m reading with my congregation in a timely manner.  (We’ve already got our second reading for our early service on I Advent set up to use an excerpt from Neuhaus’s piece for that day.  I’m hoping it will inform my sermons.

So far, I really like what I’ve seen.  I’m looking forward to using this as a daily reading (maybe in conjunction with Morning Prayer).  I have to thank my wife, Anne, who found this and bought this for me.  There are some wonderful advantages to having a librarian in the family!

As you might gather from the title, it’s geared towards discovering the meaning of the incarnation (Jesus’ birth) in our lives.

My wife Anne found a lovely Advent prayers of the people from New Song Episcopal Church in Coralville Iowa.  I know it’s probably early for this (though we are beginning our plans for Advent now), but if you are interested, you can find it here.

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