Hallo again to all.
Today is the last Sunday of the church year. Next week is Advent. It's always hard to believe how quickly Advent comes. Advent is a season of preparation; perhaps we need a short season to prepare for Advent. Our page of Advent Resources, newly updated for 2001, might be helpful.
No matter whether the year in question is secular or ecclesiastical, it seems to be human nature to take the last few days of the year to reflect on its events. Faithful Christians all around the world are using this time to reflect on evil, on governments and their interaction, on the proper relation of church to government.
In Nigeria the march of Sharia, Islamic law, continues, but it no longer makes the news. The proponents of Sharia clearly believe that church and government should be the same. In Australia, there is a very public squabble among the various bishops of the Anglican church over how the church should advise the government, and what it should say. In England there are squabbles over the role of government-funded church schools, and someone keeps trying to burn down one of the cathedrals, presumably for symbolic reasons.
Nearly every priest we know has in the last year preached a sermon about evil, and many have visited the topic since That Day in September. It's so much on our minds that we'd be willing to venture the claim that many of our older US readers forgot this year to commemorate 22 November 1963.
From the swirl of sermons and essays about evil, we have picked two for your attention. The first is a brief, Christian, and very human essay about evil by the Revd R. Edgar Wallace, a priest in the US Midwest. We asked him to write this for Anglicans Online. The second is a longer reflection, by the editors of Killing the Buddha, on the role that churches are playing in society's healing. A KTB editor, who chooses not to call himself Christian, attended the All Saints Day service at Manhattan's St Luke in the Fields, and wrote a long, dark essay about what he learned. We think he would have learned more had he been a believer, but he thinks clearly and writes well.
Speaking of the evil and the dark: next week is Advent. For us at Anglicans Online, Advent is always heralded by the four fearsome words: Death, Judgement, Heaven, and Hell. But Advent is a season more awesome than fearsome, combining mystery, waiting, darkness, and stillness. Next week we shall together greet its first Sunday. Please do your homework by reading from the Advent Resources.
See you next week.
Last updated: 25 November 2001