Dear Cathedral Family,
The calendar this year pushes the beginning of Advent further from Thanksgiving and its final Sunday MUCH closer to Christmas. No doubt many of you will have put up lights and decorations for the season well ahead of this Sunday when the new Church year begins on the First Sunday of Advent.
As I was setting the timer for the lighted stars that hang across our front porch during this season, I was forced to slow down and pay attention to the times of beginning darkness and dawning light. This made me aware of the change within this Advent season as we move toward the Winter Solstice on December 21 and the emerging of greater light in the new life born at Christmas. By the time the lights come down, we will be living in a new time of life.
The collect for this Sunday asks God for the grace to “cast away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light,” to draw us out of darkness into light. This comes as a welcome change of perspective from the state of our world right now. It brings a confident hope that God will restore the world. Jesus teaches in this Sunday’s gospel that those who pay attention to the signs in nature will be alert to the new life appearing, emerging from things that are dormant, apparently lifeless but actually ready to unfold.
This season of preparation will begin in our life together this Sunday, as we gather after worship for our parish meeting to elect new leadership for the time ahead. Our children will begin their preparations for the annual Christmas Pageant and will also learn more about the purpose of their “reverse” Advent calendar projects. You can find on the Advent page on our website much more information about opportunities to slow down and pay attention to God’s time in the season ahead.