From the Pastor’s Pen
The season of Advent is typically viewed as a kind of countdown to Christmas. But the spirit behind Advent precedes the birth of Christ by many centuries to some of the darkest epochs of Israel’s history. Which is why some of the lectionary readings during Advent come from the prophets like Isaiah, who lived during a time of Israel’s subjugation by foreign powers and the exile of many Jews to Babylon as they waited in the hope for God’s light to pierce the darkness of their circumstances. In other words, Advent at its most authentic was tailor made for a year like 2020. Advent is best appreciated not in colored lights and merry carols, but in waiting hopefully in darkness for the light of God’s deliverance to dawn. In any year one can find reasons that cause the Advent mood of hopeful waiting to resonate. Never in most of our lifetimes have we been confronted with a darkness as deep and universal as what this year has left on our doorstep. So, as we come to the end of 2020, let us embrace Advent, with its comforting promise of Divine Light to dispel the darkness that has shrouded this year. To help us do that, the Advent theme for 2020 will be “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” As that hymn tells, we wait in lonely exile for God’s liberation as did the Jewish exiles in Babylon and all peoples throughout history who have been overwhelmed by darkness. May this Advent season truly be a source of relief from the burden of all the natural, medical, political and cultural catastrophes which we have been bearing. Our Advent observances will be virtual but you may want to create (or purchase) an Advent Wreath and candles to deepen the meaning of the season in a very tangible way.
2020 Advent and Christmas Calendar
- November 28: A Virtual Advent Workshop.
- November 29: 1st Sunday of Advent Virtual Service
- December 6: 2nd Sunday of Advent Virtual Service
- December 13: 3rd Sunday of Advent Virtual Service
- December 20: 4th Sunday of Advent Virtual Service and Virtual Blue Christmas Service (7PM)
- December 24: Outdoor Christmas Eve Service on Academy Hill at 7PM
Grace and Peace.