Advent: calling us to wait expectantly, to Be

Advent begins the church year with a season of hopeful expectation, longing and peace. We find it colliding right at the end of our calendar year, where our time is spread thin and our world says "go! go! go! buy! buy! buy!" Join us Sunday nights to slow down and listen for that still small voice that says "Be."

The Holiday season can be a great time of good tidings and cheer. Many truly authentic and heartfelt gifts are shared, many festive gatherings occur, and yes, we see in both ways large and small, acts of joy expressed. And yet, many of us might feel the anxieties around the hustle and bustle: we don't have enough time to go to yet another holiday party, we don't know what kind of present to get for a loved one (or we simply can't afford to purchase that man gifts at all), we feel obligation and then guilt or shame for feeling the way we might around family, and we deeply miss those dearly departed.

The Holidays are always a mixed bag.

Thankfully, Advent arrives just in time, inviting us to slow down and simply be. We are invited to receive the most precious of all gifts: the One who is truly good, beautiful and true. The One who has come to truly Love.

Advent, meaning “the coming,” is a time when we wait expectantly. Christians began to celebrate it as a season during the fourth and fifth centuries. Like Mary, we celebrate the coming of the Christ child, what God has already done. And we wait in expectation of the full coming of God’s reign on earth and for the return of Christ, what God will yet do. But this waiting is not a passive waiting. It is an active waiting. As any expectant mother knows, this waiting also involves preparation, exercise, nutrition, care, prayer, work; and birth involves pain, blood, tears, joy, release, community. It is called labor for a reason. Likewise, we are in a world pregnant with hope, and we live in the expectation of the coming of God’s kingdom on earth. As we wait, we also work, cry, pray, ache; we are the midwives of another world.
— - Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (2010), Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, and Enuma Okoro, editors

We hope that you can join us for a special series of four Sunday evening gatherings this Advent. We'll be meeting November 30, December 7, 14, and 21 at 4:30pm at Friends of the Children (parking and main entrance at 65 NE Stanton, in-between MLK and N. Williams). We'll gather together to wait expectantly together for the truly magnificent to arrive. Bring your kids, brings a friend, bring a stranger. Everyone is welcome.... yes, everyone.

Wait for the Light square