Advent

by The Rev. Dr. Jason Parkin 

Will Rogers, the great cowboy-humorist of the 1920s and 30s, would often, when appearing on stage for a live performance, take the paper of whatever city he was in, and offer spontaneous commentary on the headlines therein. Not long after Prohibition was repealed in 1933, Rogers did a show in New York. He picked up one of the local papers and read out loud the headline, "Owners Want Bars Open To 4, Not 2." He paused for a moment. "Friends," he then said to the audience, "if you can't get drunk by 2 in the morning, you're not trying."

A strange way to begin a December article in a church newsletter, I know. But Will Rogers' words come to mind as we stand on the threshold of the season of Advent and all that it ushers into our lives and world. In the next few weeks, we will celebrate at Holy Comforter the dawning of a new Church year with the First Sunday of Advent and multiple Christian formation and education opportunities. We will once again hear the bagpipe-shrill voice of John the Baptist calling us to new lives; and we will listen as Mary sings her assent to God's mysterious, marvelous plan for her and for all the world. We will give of our time and energy and financial resources in order to bring Christmas joy into the lives of people at Connections for the Homeless and Good News Partners and Holy Family Ministries. We will glory in the shimmering music and poignant scripture passages offered at Lessons and Carols, and prepare ourselves for the Coming One through participation in one of the three divergent and beautiful services on Christmas Eve or the gentle, moving liturgy on Christmas Day. And all this on top of our regular daily Eucharists and Men's Bible Study and Shawl Ministry and Sunday Evening Prayer and countless other moments of grace and community.

In other words, to paraphrase Will Rogers, if we can't find something to move our souls during December, we're not trying.

During this holy and pregnant season, listen for God's movement in your life. Listen with your heart and see with your soul the new possibilities God is opening to all of us. Get ready for the One who is to come. Watch. Wait. Yearn. Expect. Come. Let God move your soul. And then-on that Day-rejoice.