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Advent 2010

Dear Friends, O Come, O Come Emmanuel … The plaintive chant captures the serene, anticipatory essence of Advent. But while they’re not in any hymnal, there are other powerful lyrics that sing Advent to me – promising God’s greatness to come in a very different, very upbeat tempo. With apologies to Steven Sondheim for editing his words: Something’s coming, something good. I got a feeling there’s a miracle due, gonna come true. Coming to me. Coming to you. It may come cannonballing down through the sky, gleam in its eye, bright as a rose. The air is humming and something great is coming. Now that’s what I call Advent. Very few of us today lead supine or cloistered lives, set to the meter of ethereal antiphons -- especially with Christmas coming. This is a time when the pace picks up and the days come rushing at us. We’re in the grip of gotta get it done. And we’re in danger of throwing away special days God gives us to live in his grace. Sure we have lots more things to do. We’ve got our obligations to meet. But in the blink of an eternal eye, it all becomes infinitesimally trivial. If we forget the original focus of the feast, it’s all just a meaningless frenzy of shopping, decorating and card swapping. So let’s pause a moment and get our bearings. Emmanuel has come, is come and will come into our lives. From the Hebrew, the word means: God with us. And he is and will be with us. That is Christmas in a nutshell. We celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ, the vehicle of God’s grace, our redeemer and exemplar. He doesn’t ask for presents. He doesn’t expect a card. He asks only for our love – for God and for our neighbors -- friends, family and strangers—all the people we collide with as we careen towards Christmas. As recovering Christmas-aholics, we’re not even asked to slow down. We’re asked only to hurry on in the daily knowledge of God’s grace. We’re asked to be kind. We’re asked to set aside the grim determination of get it done and rejoice in the coming of the Lord. Trusting in him first, we know all will come right. The days will go by, not as a blur, but as a closer step to Christ and with Christ – filled with meaningful opportunities to share his love. The air is humming and something great is coming. Sincerely yours in Christ’s love,

The Reverend David F. Sellery


2010 Parish Advent Letter  

parish advent letter, spirituality, preaching

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