Advent is the season of anticipation, waiting, preparation. Interim ministry resonates strongly with this time. Part of preparing for new possibilities is both claiming and releasing present realities. There’s a tension here (isn’t there almost always?) This congregation is in an in-between, both-and place of deeply engaging with our shared ministry right now while also looking ahead toward a possible search and call process and settled, sustainable leadership. Yup, this is Advent stuff—the time in the church year when we particularly recall that God’s reign is both already present and not yet fully realized.
One of the Advent traditions is assigning themes—hope, peace, joy, love—to these four Sundays leading up to Christmas. One way we can try to dwell faithfully in in-between, both-and times is to back off a bit from struggling to figure things out, trying to nail down a meaning for these themes. Instead, we can rest a bit with non-verbal modes of presence. To that end, I’d like to offer to your imagination some images for Advent. I’m giving you words to call up images, because the best pictures are often in your own memory and imagination. So, as part of your Advent preparation, I invite you to take a few moments with these now, and dwell with each further on these Sundays and throughout the season.
Hope—a bit of green sprouting out of a dung ball.
Peace—a baby fallen asleep at its mother’s breast.
Love—the whole chocolate chip cookie, of which we are the bits.
Joy—a spring-snowmelt-rushing stream dappled in sunlight.
Pastor David