|Letters from 21 to
27 November 2011
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Will it always remain a mystery?
Yes, Advent is a "pivot point", but the looking behind and ahead is on a much larger scale than you imply (tho' I know the other view is there). In another sense, Advent can be the "reset button" for our spiritual lives, since it focuses more on waiting and a new start than on activity (in contrast to Lent).
I love Advent possibly more than any other of the church seasons, and wrote an essay a few years ago in an attempt to sort out my own busy life. I had managed to dodge most of the commercial pre-Christmas busyness, but as a chorister, was routinely ahead of the season due to rehearsals. If I may share the closing from that short essay, it might explain a feeling that I hope some others share.
I think we forget is that all beginnings start out in nothing,
in an apparent emptiness, and that we must not rush to
fill that void. Instead, our task in Advent is to cultivate
emptiness, sweep our lives clean, and wait for the Spirit
to fill us. We are not to be "in the spirit of the season",
but have the Spirit in us. Only thus can we be rightly
directed as we progress to action.
dates on a calendar, not corresponding with the actual
time needed for preparations? No. Advent is not really
a time for us to get ready for Christmas, and all our temporal
preparations are incidental. It is a time for the Holy
Spirit to make us ready for Christ. We wait for His coming,
past and future, but if we can empty our hearts and minds
of busyness, we can welcome Him now and always.
As always, love your site! A blessed Advent to you and all my fellow readers!
Frances ("Robin") Drake
St. Anne's Episcopal Church
Herndon, Virginia (Fairfax County), USA
22 November 2011
(Editor: We'd love to see your entire essay, if you'd be willing to send it to us.)
Would you settle for the iPad eBook edition?
One Advent wish is to get a copy of the recently published Hymnal of the Anglican Church of the West Indies or find a way to purchase that Hymnal online.
St Alban's Parish, Washington DC
Alexandria, Virgnia, USA
26 November 2011
(Editor: We're looking, we're looking. And, no, alas, there's not an eBook edition, either.)
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