This coming Sunday.
Marks the First Sunday in Advent.
The first of the four Sundays which precede Christmas.
For the first time in more than 40 years I am not responsible for bulletins or prayers or a Christmas Eve reflection. Looking back, I am sure there were moments when all of it was more than I could manage, but for the most part I loved it. The thinking and the writing forced me to focus on that something more which too often and too easily gets lost in the glitter and the tinsel and the holiday cheer, and provide me the time and the opportunity to wrestle with the challenge and the promise of words like:
Swords into plowshares.
And, light in the darkness.
And, Emmanuel/God with us.
This year will be different.
There are no deadlines.
No prayers to write.
No external pressures.
Which force me to pay attention.
I am on my own.
Just like you and so many others.
Who navigate the responsibilities of the day while leaning into the promise of what might be.
But, not alone really.
Across whatever distance
Let us join hearts and hands
As we hold onto the hope
And, stumble our way towards that promised day.