We are entering a busy time. This week, Thanksgiving, is a chance to “set our tables for peace” and to welcome our neighbors for a feast in Willett Hall. It is a joyous time when we gather with family and friends and a poignant time when we note keenly those absent from us. One of the things I love about the Sunday after Thanksgiving is seeing United Parish’s college students and young adults who are home. It’s also a chance to meet grandparents, aunts and uncles, and treasured kin of my United Parish family.
So too, we are entering a time of transition in the church year, sometimes called the liturgical calendar. This Sunday we will move from the season of Ordinary Time to the season of Advent. Advent invites us to prepare our hearts to receive the Christ Child. How we enter Advent, how we observe Advent, how we practice our faith in the next weeks will help shape our experience on Christmas Eve and the 12 Days of Christmas.
Advent provides an opportunity to step away from the cultural chaos that interprets Christmas as a chance to stimulate demand for presents and spur endless holiday shopping. Advent provides an opportunity to enter a season of waiting and wondering, waiting for the Christ child and wondering how we will recognize the child in our midst.
For some, entering fully into a time of silence heightens the ability to hear the truth of God from God. Most religious traditions have practices that underscore the importance and value of silence. This Sunday, as we enter Advent, we will have a chance to reflect together on the ways in which silence may deepen our collective and personal life of prayer.
I look forward to being with you and your treasured kin this Sunday.
Kate Baker-Carr, Guest Preacher
Image credit: Annunciation to Zechariah by Lauren Wright Pittman. Inspired by Luke 1:1-23. Acrylic and ink on wood panel. © a sanctified art | sanctifiedart.org