An Invitation to a Holy Advent

Advent is a season of expectant waiting for the in breaking of God among us in the birth of Jesus and anticipation of Christ’s coming again at the end of time. During Advent we prepare ourselves for God to come into our world, our lives, our hearts anew. In Advent we’re invited to wonder, “What can we do as the Church, Christ’s body here on earth, to welcome God’s reign of justice and peace today? What can we do as individuals to reorder our lives in the light of God’s love? What would it mean to live as people who believe in Jesus as the Savior of all the earth and who expect him to come again at the fulfillment of time? Each Advent we turn to these questions.”1

Living into these questions requires quiet reflection and an inward turning. I hope you will find such opportunities at All Saints. Sundays in Advent will offer an atmosphere of reflective preparation for Christ to be born in our world and in our lives. Our readings this season invite us to examine ourselves and make a clear path for Christ’s birth within and around us. Our music turns toward the contemplative with the use of plainsong. Our senses are drawn toward the transcendent by the faint scent of frankincense and the simple chime of bells. Our altar is dressed in blue, the color of Mary, inviting us to follow Mary’s example to be bearers of God in our world.

That we might be inspired by the faithful acts of Mary, and others, in God’s plan of salvation, Wednesday evenings from 7:15-8:45, adults are invited to gather for our 3 week series Advent of the Savior. We will consider the roles Isaiah, Mary, and Joseph played in making God’s promise a reality. This series will introduce you to the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth, remind you of God’s faithfulness and power to fulfill divine promises, and draw you more deeply into the love that brought Christ to earth.

That love, of course, is God’s self-giving love poured out for us in the birth of Jesus. God’s self-giving love is the primary impulse of the incarnation, and one that we are invited to follow. We will do so this Advent by following the witness of St. Nicholas, the 4th century Bishop of Myra. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. On St. Nicholas Day, Sunday, December 6, we will offer our gifts to assist the needy in our midst. Giving Tree gifts given to people in need will be brought to church that Sunday and gathered at the altar as our own act of self-giving love to others. Come on this special day to learn more about the witness of St. Nicholas and be inspired to your own acts of self-giving love. I pray that Advent at All Saints will provide for you the time and space to prepare for Christ’s birth, God’s greatest gift to us. All so that when God is born in Christ this Christmas, he will find in us a mansion prepared for him to dwell.

In the peace of Christ,


1 “Advent,” Daily Prayer for all Seasons, (New York: Church Publishing, 2014), p 1.