Happy New Year! Christians live in something of an alternate reality when we get together for worship. We have used a different calendar than everyone else since the 4th century. November 29 is the first day of the new Christian year -- the first Sunday in the season of Advent.
And though the “holiday season” is in full swing all around us, the Christian season of Advent is a very different time. While our broader culture worships at the altar of instant gratification and aspires to the impossibility of infinite economic growth and consumption, we Christians strive to live in a larger reality.
Advent is a solemn time. But take great care with that word, “solemn.” It doesn’t mean dry, boring, or overly formal. By solemnity, we mean joy—but the kind of joy we experience when we are in awe. Rumors abound that our salvation is on the way and may already be among us! Like children who can’t wait for Christmas morning, we too must wait—actively, poised on our toes, ready to receive that salvation. We share the kind of joy that can make us quiver with anticipation—hardly able to hold in our excitement for what will soon be birthed in the world and in our very selves.
On the four Sundays of Advent in 2020, when we can't meet in person and share Holy Communion, we are worshiping using Morning Prayer, a service that dates back to the 6th century. Come share the beauty that can result when ancient rites meet digital technology! To join us in the Zoom room itself for Sunday worship, sign up for our email list and you will begin receiving the appropriate links. Or if you’d prefer to watch and not show up on screen, join us on our public Facebook page; you don’t need a Facebook account.
There are other ways, too, to make the Advent season special. One popular one these days is AdventWord, a global Advent calendar you can enjoy and contribute to from your phone. The site contains daily meditations for Advent, each based on a specific word on a 26-day calendar. Take photos and post them with hashtags to join the AdventWord project.
- Pastor Josh