Sunday, November 29, 2009


There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. Luke 21:25
Today is the first Sunday of Advent and we begin a series of lessons that prepare us for Christmas. The talk of signs and wonders - of the coming of the Christ child and of the end of days. It a sort-of sci-fi swirling confusion. We are awaiting a baby - we are awaiting some sort of cataclysmic invasion. As if we all don't have enough anxiety already, the Advent lessons points us to both wonder and destruction.

I am reminded in this season of what it was like to be carrying one of my children. When pregnant, a woman is very vulnerable. Life hangs in the balance every day. There is much to prepare for, much to worry about and a ever changing body to take care of. Two lives totally interdependent. Anticipating life is always being anxious for the outcome and worrying about failure. Whenever we wait for something long expected, we often can ear doom beating a drum in the distance. We are humans and we worry.

The Good News for me today is that despite human worry and the horrible challenges we face in life, God is with us in everything. In the morning and at days end, in the pain and in the joyous moments. God is with us, at the birthing and at the ending - and everywhere in between. Not far off but ever near.

May this first Sunday of Advent invite is all to linger in the taste of God's constant presence. May we all find ways to celebrate the waiting for Christmas with acknowledging God's presence, even when we are faced with hard times. May we feed and reach out to those who are suffering. May our hands be busy and may our hearts be actively loving. May the Emmanuel, God with us, empower us all to live with the signs and wonders, knowing God is standing with us through it all.

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