Reflections from Rev. Krista
Dear People of St. Paul’s,
Happy New Year!Where are the streamers and fireworks?! Wait, why are we celebrating the new year at the beginning of December? On December 4th we celebrate the new church year with the beginning of Advent.
To me, Advent seems like a strange time to start the new year. It is a season where the darkness continues to grow, days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Why celebrate a new year and new life during such a dark season?The church sometimes feels really backwards, especially during this time of year.Advent is a season about waiting and hope. It is a season that reminds us that we believe in a God that comes and takes up residence right here on Earth.
“The Word became flesh and blood,and moved into the neighborhood.We saw the glory with our own eyes,the one-of-a-kind glory,like Father, like Son,Generous inside and out,true from start to finish.”John 1:14 Eugene Peterson’s The Message
No matter how messy our elections get, no matter how much ash is in our air, no matter how many tragic things are happening, God will come and take up residence. Anne Lamott writes in an essay called “My Advent Adventure”, “God has set up a tent among us and will help us work together on our stuff, for you … and for me; together, over time.”
What amazing news! God loves us no matter what and will be with us in our darkness. Light will overcome these dark times. God is ready, are we? Perhaps the church has it right, perhaps the darkest of days is the perfect time to celebrate new life, new hope, and a new year.
Celebrate this new year, this Advent, by embracing the church’s countercultural direction on slowing down when the rest of the world is amping up. By slowing down we may notice where our hope lies so we can ready ourselves and make room for the Holy Spirit to take up residence. At St. Paul’s, throughout the Advent season during our Wednesday forum, we will host a quiet, simple Taize service. We hope it will be a great time to sit, and enjoy some downtime during what can be a frantic holiday season.
We will also be hosting a Blue Christmas. Blue Christmas is a service held on the longest night where we honor those who have felt losses in the year. It is a time to pray for those things that might make us feel “blue” during the holiday season. It will be on Friday, December 21st at 7:00 p.m.May you have a beautiful, quiet Advent…Happy New Year!
The Rev. Krista Fregoso