November 27, 2016 – A View from the Rectory Window

cotr-advent

I always hope things will slow down in Advent.  This desire, if you share it, I think comes from a reminder of how much we all need time and space for preparation, for hope, for light in darkness in the busyness of our lives. Yes, it’s always a struggle to fight the urge to leap forward into the celebration of Christmas and the urge to get caught up in the excess of the secular holiday season.

But somehow, isn’t this the essence of Advent – figuring out how to live in this in-between time when the reign of God is not yet fully upon us?  It’s about learning what the life of faith is all about – learning to live in between the assurance of God’s promise to us and the fulfillment of that promise.

I recently read a take on Advent which suggests that this in-between-time should match the intensity of Christmas itself.  That God is as much in the waiting as in the arrival.  That God is powerfully present in our waiting.  The author sets the scene this way:

“The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised the baton . . . 

. . . The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment . . .

. . . And if you concentrate on that instant, somewhere you can feel the beating of your heart. For all its madness and lostness, not to mention your own, you can hear the world itself holding its breath.”

I love this image of the ‘world itself holding its breath’ before the initiative of God.  Sometimes, it may feel for us that this waiting time for God to reveal Himself in our lives is interminable.  Sometimes our energy wanes and we lose our focus on the energy present in the waiting.  But in the pause, in the silence, God is there.  With us.

To attune yourself to this time and space for preparation, for hope, for light in darkness, I encourage you to join me in some special offerings during the next four weeks of Advent:

There will be an Advent Meditation Group that meets on Fridays at Resurrection from 2-3pm (please see the   bulletin for details, or call me at (609) 390-0664 for further information).

Commencing November 30, the Saint Maximilian Kolbe Book Club will be reading The Infancy Narratives,    authored by Pope Benedict.  The Book Club meets on Wednesday evenings from 7-8pm in the classroom area at the Church of the Resurrection.

TV star Frank Runyeon will present the 3 1/2 Stories of Christmas on December 11 at 2pm at the Church of the Resurrection.  Children and adults will be delighted as all the parts of the Christmas story are tied together for the first time:  From the light of Creation to the manger in Bethlehem, from the origin of Saint Nicholas to the secret of the Christmas Angel himself!

The Advent Parish Penance Service will be celebrated at the Church of the Resurrection on Tuesday, December 13, at 7pm

Again, please see the bulletin (or call me) for details about the Parish Giving Trees and Feed the Needy food and gift drives.