Part of the season of Advent is cultivating an attitude of wonder….And I believe it’s our wonder that makes our hearts truly ready to hold the mystery of the Divine in the depths of our souls.
Why do we prepare during the season of Advent? I’ve been meditating on the idea of preparation this year. As some of us were reminded at our Advent devotion this past Tuesday with Father Nick Hull at Christ Episcopal Church, this season was built in before Christmas to ensure we are slowing down to pay attention to our own souls before we jump from one celebration to the next. This season is to pace ourselves and be fully present with God on the journey toward celebration.
Some say that saying “Happy Holidays” is the end of Christmas in our midst. But I say that losing a sense of expectancy and wonder is a much worse blow to our faith…For four weeks in December, we will anticipate the coming Christ. And we do so to prepare our hearts for the holy experience of Christmas.
The work of God is often work that can make us tired, but when it’s done for God’s Kingdom and together in community, it’s the best kind of tired there is. Paul reminds us: “Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right.”
God’s renewing presence is already here, and we simply must tap into it and share it in our own way as the people of the Kingdom of God known as First Baptist Church of Martinsville.
I think the celebration of All Saints day (Nov. 1; we celebrate the first Sunday of November) is a little different for us in that way – we don’t venerate only some saints (the “official” ones of the ancient and modern church like St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Mary, St. Mother Teresa); instead, we understand that since we are all children in God’s Kingdom, being a saint isn’t something we earn through the enormity of our good works, but something we are gifted in our baptism…
I have found that good distractions are in fact some of the best times to know that God is in our worship services…
We had a great opportunity this week to hear from Dr. Mike Hatfield, Pastor of Chatham Heights Baptist Church, who was inspired by the book Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger and presented about it to challenge and encourage us as Christian communities.
…learning to walk (or learning to walk again, if you’ve ever suffered an injury or illness) takes a lot of practice, patience, fortitude, and above all – trust.
This Sunday, we will celebrate communion with the added remembrance of World Communion Sunday, celebrated on the first Sunday in October each year.