Posted by: Jeff Thornberg, Associate Rector
In the Christian calendar, Sunday, November 27, 2011 marks the first Sunday of Advent. The season of Advent marks the beginning of the Christian year. Historically, the faithful would prayerfully prepare and await the celebration God breaking into the world in the form of an innocent child. In fact, the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday (the rose colored candle on the Advent wreath) was introduced as a break in the season, because people were taking Advent too seriously.
Yet, if you're anything like me, prayer and solemnity is far from your mind at this time. In today's world, no one speaks of Advent, but rather the general "Holiday Season," which is filled with preparations for stressful yet joyous social and familial events. It's a time for tasks,
not space. We all make check lists, but may find it all too difficult to check in with ourselves, much less God.
My wife Annie and I are expecting our first child on February 27, 2011. We feel that our lives are full to the brim with expectations, preparations, fears, anxieties, hopes, and dreams. Like the holiday season, I find myself running through my life, attending to the innumerable tasks, both in my public and private life, that must be completed before her or his arrival.
Recently, a trusted friend asked me where God was in all of this. I must confess that I was taken aback. Despite the fact that I do what I do, it had not occurred to me to ask the question. Yet, why wouldn't I? God is moving more in my life than ever before!
The same is true as we prepare for a new Christmas, and a New Year. God moves both in the silence, and in the hustle. I invite all of us, however difficult it may be, to take time to "Check In" with ourselves and with God during this time. New things are developing. We must not miss them because we pay too much attention to the tasks.