Advent marks the beginning of the Christian year. It is a time of looking forward and preparation, getting ready in some part for the Christmas holiday, and, in a greater sense, preparing for the year ahead, whatever it may hold, and for the long awaited coming of Christ with power and glory. Advent is an uncomfortable, in-between time that is no longer what it once was and is not yet what it will be. More than any other time of the church year, Advent is NOW.
As we wonder about the unknowable future, Resurrection is beginning our Advent journey with an In-Gathering Celebration, giving thanks for what has come before, for where we stand now, and for what God will bring us in the year ahead. As our final pledges come in (nudge, nudge, hint, hint…), we can see the place of plenty where we now stand, and the generosity that will carry us forward. I hope you will join us after the 10:30 service as we enter Advent’s uncomfortable, liminal, in-between, place of “already and not yet” by giving thanks for now.
That place of thankfulness in the present is a good description of faith. Faith is going into the unknown “changes and chances of this life” with confidence in God’s promise to be with us in the time to come based on how God has been present with us in the past and is with us and guiding us now. That faith is the work our Vestry will be engaging in as they turn our pledges into a budget – a plan for ministry and mission in the months ahead. Please pray, during the coming month of budgeting, that they may lead us forward in faith, with thanksgiving for what has come before, confidence that God will be present in the days to come, and a deep and abiding knowledge of God’s Spirit upon us in this moment NOW.