Advent 2014 - Getting Ready
The leaves are barely gone, Halloween window paintings have just been washed off downtown, and yet Christmas colors have already taken over Starbucks and CVS. Ready or not, the season is upon us – a season for most of us chock full of traditions and rituals, memories of loved ones and Christmases past, family and merriment, gifts and giving.
It is, and by the time you read this, it has been for weeks, time to get ready. Soon it will be Advent – a time to prepare ourselves. At home, lights need to be put on the trees outside (and cursed as we run to the store for new strands that actually work). A Christmas tree will be found and decorated with treasures new and old. Gifts will be pondered, bought and wrapped, and holiday gatherings planned and enjoyed. Here at the church, the trees on the front lawn will soon be sung into brightness, wonderful music enjoyed throughout the month, and the sanctuary prepared to be lit with Christmas Eve candlelight.
But Advent’s “ready making,” is more than just that. It is our reminder that throughout our lives, every day the prophets call to us saying, “get ready” and “clear a path.” This season is an invitation to celebrate and follow the One who out of love fully enters this world. It is a vivid reminder of God’s ongoing invitation to come and be a part of what God is doing in the world. As Richard Rohr puts it, we are invited to “carry and love what God loves” – to be “the leaven, the salt, the remnant, the mustard seed that God uses to transform the world.” It is preparation to be “usable” by God. Come be a part of all the ways Advent and Christmas are celebrated here at RPC. May it also be a time for that deeper preparation and readiness for each of us.
In that spirit, you are invited this Advent season to be a part of another unique time of preparation and “making ready” in the life of the church as we seek to be faithful to God’s call upon us. As you may have heard over recent months, there has been talk of a special fundraising effort beyond our annual stewardship campaign. This proposed initiative is the fruit of many discussions about the future direction of this church, and the church leadership has a sense that this effort is an important part of what it means for us to be more fully ready for the future.
On page 3 of the December 2014 newsletter you will find information about how you can be a part of discerning what it means to “carry what God loves” here at RPC. December gatherings will aim to collect your feedback so we may join together in “getting ready” for our future. I hope you will make it a priority to be a part of one of those sessions.
Yours in faith,