Advent, the time of preparation for the coming of our Lord at Christmas is an opportunity and a blessing.  By it we are invited to reset our calendars and priorities.  For some, however, beginning a new liturgical year the first Sunday of Advent (Thanksgiving weekend) represents the onset of hustle and bustle, the cacophony of musts and shoulds, as well as regret.  Too much, too fast, too crazy. 

Christians are encouraged to turn away from din and glitz associated with this time of the year to set our faces toward the wonder and joy born anew in Bethlehem.  This will be a challenge.  It has been said that many of us this time of the year become more occupied with slipper and pajama sizes than centering on the quiet beauty of the birth of our Savior. 

In the next couple of weeks, you will continue to receive catalogues upon catalogues as well as requests for financial support from a host of worthwhile programs and institutions as the year comes to an end.  You will, in fact, receive mailings from Christ Church.  They will include invitations to liturgies: Lessons and Carols, Christmas pageants, and Christmas services; as well as reminders regarding the completion of pledges of financial support, end-of-year contributions, and Christmas outreach projects; as well as gentle offerings to Advent Quiet Days, prayer groups and Advent wreath making.     

As you read through the many mailings coming to you this Advent and Christmas, you will be reminded that the world is abuzz with activities.  Even Christ Church, too, can become too full of “things to do”.  Said simply, we invite you and your family, as did the others who made their way to the stable, to come Bethlehem.  May you present our whole (awake and ready) selves for the birth of our Savior.

W.H. Auden once spoke to Mary through the angel Gabriel: 

Today the Unknown seeks the known;

What I am willed to ask, your own

Will has to answer; child, it lies

Within your power of choosing to

Conceive the Child who chooses you. 

 

God has chosen us.  May we, responding to God, conceive the Child who chooses us.