Advent…Coming and becoming
December has 31 days, but somehow it seems to be the shortest month of the year, really only 25 days. And our liturgical season of Advent has only 21 days from first Sunday to fourth Sunday. As always a season that can be easily lost in the rush. Perhaps the Christian “art of waiting” could be better appreciated after the tree has been taken down and the decorations are packed away. An evening in late January curled up on the sofa seems a better venue for considering the coming of the Lord...or is it? The truth is that waiting is an art that can only be appreciated in the middle of busyness. Waiting in traffic, waiting in the checkout line or waiting on hold matter all the more because we have other things that we need to do (or at least that we would rather do!) Instead of preaching the need to step back from the commercial rush, let me suggest that the pressure to accomplish so much in just a few days in December really can help us to focus on watchfulness. The anticipation of “the big day,” even if somewhat misdirected, has the benefit of setting a goal before us, Whereas in late January we might only fall asleep on that sofa. “Waiting in joyful hope” knows no season. The Lord is coming whether we are ready or not, even if we are waiting in traffic, in the checkout, on hold or asleep on the couch. And we are in a constant state of becoming better “waiters.” So embrace this crazy busy season. But be attentive the coming of the Lord in the middle of it all. Happy Advent! --Deacon Greg
The Jesse Tree Tradition
A family tree of Jesus derives its name from Isaiah 11:1, “A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.” Jesse was the father of the great king David. Isaiah was looking forward to a day when a new king, greater than David, would be born from his royal lineage. Jesus is the fruit of that prophetic promise. During the season of Advent we add ornaments to the Jesse tree week by week to tell the story of salvation displayed through the lives of Jesus ancestors. Each of them has something to tell us about who Jesus is as we retell their stories and count the days until Christmas. You can find a description of these marvelous biblical characters when you click the link, JESSIE TREE STORIES. Together they reveal the saga of God’s love throughout history. It makes wonderful review for both the young and the young at heart.