“A voice cries out in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5
Greetings, Fremont Family:
I love the season of Advent. I love the sights, the purple and pink candles of the Advent wreath, the sounds, the ancient and familiar hymns, the smells, the evergreen wreath and trees. Most of all, I love the feel of Advent. I love the longing and expectation, the darkness and the recognition that the world is not as it should be. With the prophets and John the Baptist crying out to us, we get to be honest with ourselves. We may want our God to come to us in the birth of Jesus, but we are so not ready.
Advent gives us time, but it also gives us truth. If we listen to the Advent voices carefully, Isaiah and John tell us to pay attention and see that we have work to do. There are signficant social imbalances and deep human injustices that stand in the way of God’s arrival. Some people have been exalted in power and wealth, elevated over others (mountains). Some people have been pressed down, buried in debt and sorrow (valleys). God intends to come to everyone. There will need to be some leveling. The comfort comes in both joining God in lifting others up, but also in recognizing that there are some rough places in our own lives.
For me that includes sitting with some pain in my extended family (alcoholism, job loss, marriage separation). It means sitting with some pain in myself (healing from the Superintendency, sadness for my children missing out on school). It means seeing the pain in my neighborhood as some people struggle with sickness and social isolation. This recognition keeps me aware of the need for God’s comfort in my life and in the lives of those around me.
Recently, I was on one of my many morning walks, and I was thinking about the season of Advent. Suddenly, I began to notice the color purple all around me. There were purple flowers I had never seen before, purple streaks through green leaves. There were purple berries on bushes, even purple fruit on cactus plants! It felt like my eyes were being opened, and I was seeing the glory of the Lord all around me.
This year, I pray you have a holy Advent. I look forward to these Sundays of worship with you, and especially, I look forward to being with you on Christmas Eve. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you. What do you love about the season of Advent? What are you seeing, thinking, feeling? Where is God’s comfort coming to you? Write me an email ([email protected]). It would be my privilege to share some of the time and the truth of this season with you.
Grace and peace, Pastor Erin