Advent—A Time to Begin Again
In 1996 the author John McQuiston II wrote a simple book entitled Always We Begin Again: The Benedictine Way of Living. Immediately it was a great success, and over the last 22 years people have incorporated much of John’s wisdom into their everyday lives. St. Benedict has so much to teach us with regard to our relationship with God and with our brothers and sisters.
Advent is all about beginning again. For Episcopalians it is the beginning of a new lectionary cycle. This year, following the Revised Common Lectionary, we change to Year C for our Sunday readings. If you simply Google Revised Common Lectionary, then click on the Lectionary Page, you will find a link to the Sunday readings. New this year, the RCL Daily Readings link is also included. There are several phone apps that make it easy to access the daily and Sunday readings as well as the Daily Office. For those not comfortable with electronic technology, you can also find the Sunday readings on the back of each month’s page of the Episcopal Calendar we have available each year.
I am sure I can safely say that all of us could improve our spiritual lives. We can pray a little more, study the Bible a little more, meditate a little more, listen more carefully to God speaking to us. Advent is the perfect time to begin again.
Begin again. Discover anew the joy, wonder, excitement and most especially the true meaning of Christmas. Advent will help us see and experience Christmas in a whole new way.
As strange as it seems, the busier we become in the Christmas season, the
greater our need to draw in and find that place of Holy quiet. We may think
we cannot possibly find any time to pray, read or sit quietly in the midst of a
highly overpacked schedule, but we can, and we must.
For the next four weeks, beginning December 2, 2018, and going through
December 24, 2018, I am asking every member of the congregation to work
daily at improving your spiritual life.
Find a time (usually the same time every day is best) and place (somewhere
away from the distractions of the tv and cell phone) where you can meet with
God. I promise you it will get easier every day to do this; very quickly you will
find yourself truly looking forward to this special quiet time.
For the next four Sundays, make it your goal to not miss church. Jesus has
called us into community. In preparation for the birth of the Christ Child we
need to hear the Word of God and attend God’s Banquet regularly. With
excitement we anticipate the coming of Christ!
Begin again. Discover anew the joy, wonder, excitement and most especially
the true meaning of Christmas. Advent will help us see and experience
Christmas in a whole new way. Open yourself up and let the Spirit of God fill
you in a whole new way.
May God richly bless and keep you.
With deepest affection,