We began a new year on November 29th, with the “Hanging of the Greens.” Advent is a season of prepara-tion and expectation. It is true that the signs of Christ-mas come earlier each year. It’s difficult to set aside the many voices that drown out Advent, but, for the church, Advent is essential. It is a reminder that John laid the foundation for the ministry of Jesus. As John put it, “I baptize with water, but he baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” Both are important. The water symbolically washes away the accumulated “stuff” that prevents us from fully experiencing the realm of God, while that baptism with the Spirit that Jesus brings empowers us to be agents of wholeness.
Entries in Advent (3)
As I write this dispatch the first real snow of the season has been falling. This must be a sign that Advent and Christmas are upon us. This is a busy season for all. It’s easy to get distracted from the message of the season, which is that God has come into our midst to bring new life and new hope to our lives. Many of the themes of the season are drawn from the sections of Isaiah that offer a word of hope to a people living in exile. God is heard promising deliverance. Broken lives will be restored to wholeness.
We are on a journey toward Christmas. It is a season called Advent. It invites us to consider our callings as the people of God, to look inwardly and consider what distractions and issues need to be dealt with so that we can love God and love neighbor. In the spirit of Advent, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) offers a brief video message. It features, among others, the thoughts of Sharon Watkins, our General Minister and President, as well as, the elected leadership of the church. I invite you to watch, consider, and offer your own thoughts about the hope of Advent. What are your hopes for this coming year as we walk the path set before us. As John the Baptist shouted, taking his cue from Isaiah: "Prepare the way of the Lord: Make his paths straight." (Mark 1:3; Isaiah 40:3 CEB).