Thursday, December 5, 2019

From Mother Vicki

Collect for the Second Sunday of Advent
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

We have begun anew the Church Year with the wondrous season of Advent, a time of expectation and hope even as the darkness deepens and daylight grows shorter.  The sadness, pain and struggles of our fragile mortality can either throw us into deep depression and despair or allow us to ponder the deeper questions of life in the light of God’s love.  That kind of faith involves an active relationship with God, a prayer life that means something, time together with others who have grateful hearts, and a profound hope in Christ’s presence and mercy.

The prophets have always spoken a deep truth, usually something that people do not want to hear.  This Sunday we are out in the desert with John the Baptist, who was well known as the genuine article.  Everyone who heard about him went out there by the river Jordan to confess their sins and to be baptized by him.  They wanted a “do-over”—to start over, and not feel so overcome by their shame and remorse about things done and not done.

We, too, have the opportunity in this season of repentance to rethink, restart, refocus on what is important in life.  How can we allow that love of God that we receive through Jesus Christ our Lord to transform us and all of our relationships? How can we let go of the doubts and fears that loom so large and instead step out on faith?  Buying new things will not fill the void. This season of waiting reminds us of what is important, opening our hearts to receive the gift of God’s love and passing it on. 

Our Christmas Pageant will be presented as part of the 10:15 a.m. Service next Sunday, December 15.  For those who are in the pageant, don’t forget the rehearsals this Saturday, Dec. 7 and next Saturday, Dec. 14 at 10:30 a.m.  Following that service, we have our Potluck Parish Christmas Dinner.  Please bring something delicious and join the fun!

Our reading from Romans this Sunday ends with a beautiful benediction: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

May your Advent days be filled with hope, joy and peace!

Advent blessings and love,

The Rev. Canon Victoria R. Sirota, Rector

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