Follow Us Into The Shadows

A new liturgical year is here. Advent has arrived. (I can’t believe it.)

Advent is my favorite church season of the year. I love the music. I love the mood. I love the delayed gratification of Christmas. A church that sticks closely to the liturgical calendar will hesitate going all-out on Christmas until the big day arrives. Because, in the church, it isn’t Christmas yet. This is a time when we watch and wait for the arrival of Christ incarnate.

But for now, it’s a little somber. It’s a time for lament. While the world outside is bursting with faux holiday cheer, church provides a respite from the madness. 

Advent allows us to be kinda blue this time of year without feeling like something is wrong with us.

I need this. I don’t want my church to spiritually bypass the mess and muck of life. I want to feel held and supported by my church that follows me into the depths of the darkest time of year. I don’t want my church to cut and run prematurely into the light.

For this, I’m thankful for Advent.

In closing, I wrote a little prayer to kick off Advent that I wanted to share it with you for what it’s worth…

All-creating God, as we move through Thanksgiving and into a new church year — we thank you for the gift of traditions and festivities that help us remember the deeper meanings of the holy season of Advent. We pray that you replace our anxieties with the calm and the strength of your Holy Spirit. Fill us with energy, O Spirit, to do those things which you would have us do, and teach us to watch well, O God, for the One whose arrival we await, Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name we pray. Amen.