In person events and the season of hope

DONNA TOURNEUR news@saltwire.com @SaltWireNetwork Rev. Donna Tourneur ministers among the people of Trinity United Church in New Glasgow.

2022-11-24T08:00:00.0000000Z

2022-11-24T08:00:00.0000000Z

SaltWire Network

https://saltwire.pressreader.com/article/281715503621619

Perspectives

Oh, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as cliché as that might sound. In the last week, little by little the signs are showing up everywhere. Lights in Carmichael Park, trees ready for annual lighting events, vendors at the local Farmers Market; all signs of what we love in these dark days. The promise of hope and love and joy, and even the illusive sense of peace, tugs at the hardest of hearts. If you are anything like me, you will be looking for those four cherished feelings as you navigate the season with other people. Maybe you will even begin looking for those feelings in the real-life exchanges with those same people. This is at the heart of Advent. We await the one born in humility and ordinariness, the one who has come as God among us, the one who meets us in person. And we have four weeks to prepare! Every year as Advent approaches, I am reminded of the practice of the L’Arche community. They work hard to have all the commercial bits of Christmas completed by the time Advent rolls around, so that for those weeks leading up to Christmas, they might more fully experience the gift of God’s presence in moments of joy, acts of love, signs of hope and enduring peace. If they attend to those things, with those with whom they share life, then the sense that God comes “in person” is more than a story, it is a tangible reality. Maybe it is wholly unreasonable for us to be excited about being in person anywhere these days. The virus we have come to live with still seems to be thriving, but we are no longer prepared to give our lives to it! Sensible safeguards are recommended, but no matter how you feel about masking or vaccinations, it seems pretty clear that folks are ready to be with each other. Concerts, and parties, and seasonal gatherings are in full swing! Many have also returned to in person church services and we could not be more pleased. Despite our many faults and petty ways, we in communities of faith just function better and understand the story more clearly when we are able to live it together. It seems this is exactly what Jesus would want; for us to experience God among us, the Divine in each other, in the ways we hurt and heal and sing and pray. Perhaps it has never been more important. As you prepare this year for the coming of the Christ, put a little time aside for the gifts that cannot be bought, and the moments you could never plan. That particular joy is the Christ being born again and again! May the blessings of this season find you in your preparations and celebrations, giving you faith for today.

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