Advent is here, so now what? This is our season of expectation as Christians. It is our time to prepare our hearts as we celebrate Emanuel “God with us” as Jesus comes into the world to dwell with us. While in his earthly form, Jesus taught us so much. He taught us to love one another and to be one another’s servant, thus helping to echo in God’s kingdom here on earth.
In our part of God’s vineyard here at the Cathedral, we are ever trying to follow Jesus’ teachings and to live out our baptismal vows (p. 301-305 BCP). Resisting evil, turning to God and Jesus, seek and serving our neighbors are phrases that quickly come to mind. But putting these phrases into practice, well, that is always a challenge.
Our youth and Fun Clubbers have been learning about loving and serving their neighbors. In October, they worked very hard to help put on the Kappa League Brunch outreach project. In late November, our Fun Clubbers took Advent wreaths to Murray House and then visited with several of the residents. Later this month, our EYC will visit some shut-in parishioners and then enjoy a meal.
When our youth and children get out and interact with the residents of Murray House or our shut-in parishioners, there is this wonderful dynamic that happens. Both the adults and younger folk learn about the other and share with each other, with the love of Jesus is our common bond. There is a gentleness that happens when our youth and children go beyond themselves and spend time with those who are more seasoned. Whether they know it or not, our youth and children are practicing pastoral care (that is, emotional and spiritual support). I would also bet that those they visit are also giving some pastoral care in return.
An opportunity for service for all of us at the Cathedral is our Angel Tree ministry. Once again, we will have the tree in the Chapter House. The Angel Tree benefits the Family Intervention Team (City of Mobile Police Department), providing gifts for families in need here in Mobile. While those who give will not get to meet the recipients of their gifts, there still is a connection and there is a moment for God’s kingdom to break into this world. I would encourage you all to consider participating in this important ministry.
Finally, as we inch ever closer to the Holy Nativity, I know that our schedules and lives will be very full. It is my hope that all of us will be able to have some “Sabbath moments” where we can have some quiet time with God and reflect on our relationship with Him and what “And the Word became flesh and lived among us...” (John 1:14a) means in our lives.
Have a great Advent and December everyone, and I hope to see you at church!
The Reverend Daniel A. Wagner,