From the Rector: December 2022
Dear Parish Family,
Here we are - just a few days into the season of Advent. In mind and heart, we are being encouraged by scripture and liturgy to hold a quiet space - to prepare - to reflect and to ponder all that is holy. At the very same time we stand in a parallel season where there is a much different spirit. There we are encouraged towards a more frantic pace - to shop - to spend and to excess. And even though we are still in the first week of Advent, there are people just itching to go ahead and sing "Silent Night.” You know who you are!
Study after study declares this to be a time of the year when people report higher incidences of sadness, anxiety and even depression.
It just so happens this is also the time of year when we always encounter John the Baptist. No matter the lectionary year, the second Sunday of Advent always presents us with John. All four Gospel writers, despite their notable variety of early conversations, are in full agreement that we need to see and hear from John the Baptist. There in the Jordan River, calling out to us:
Repent! For the kingdom of heaven has come near!
We don't tend to use the word repent very much. It kind of feels like a word that points toward shame or guilt. Many people just think it means to be sorry. In the Greek, though, repent literally means to change one's mind. In other words, to reset.
Anne Lamott writes, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” In this Advent season, that totally resonates with the message of that locust eating, leather belt wearing preacher in the Jordan River. The one we see every year. It’s a time to reset ourselves, he says - back towards our loving God.
And the Kingdom of God is actually already here. Which is actually very good news.
Let’s not miss it!
A blessed Advent to you and yours.
The Rev. C. Phillip Craig, Jr.