Thursday, December 22, 2011

Running through Advent

The season of Christmas is almost upon us. 

This season of Advent has seemed to fly right by....the two practices I took on this season were prayer and running.  (Sometimes, depending on the distance of the run, these go hand in hand.)  This year, like last year, after the advent wreath was put together, I cut out yellow stars and placed them in a blue bowl in the center of the wreath.  Each day as I lit the wreath, I pulled out a star and included that person, those people or group of folks in prayer throughout the day.  I am thanful for the opportunity to take the time while I pray to think about others and bring them into prayer and bring me out of myself.

I love that the mantle is covered with stars and as I walk by I think of all those who have journeyed with me this advent.  Last year at this time, it was a time of much unrest for me.  Between anticipating a new call in Robesonia, and saying goodbyes in Indiana, I was surrounded by boxes and packing and goodbyes and deep breaths.  While I knew that the right decisions had been made, in the midst of it all I found it hard to just be.  I am thankful for the opportunity to reflect upon this time last year with a sense of calm and happiness that God has called me to this place.  I continue to pray for those who are in the midst of anxious times, unrest and uncertainty.  It is exactly into that situation that God sent Jesus into the world.  Into a world needing love, forgiveness and understanding.  It was a world that was looking for hope, salvation and a new beginning.  It is into that world, here and now that we are ready to receive the Christ child (again) in our midst this coming Christmas Eve.  May we be reminded the God breaks into our world - just as it is - to claim us, to love us and to send us into this broken world as agents of God's grace to those who surround us. 

May you have time this Christmas Eve to gather together in worship, in song, in prayer and at the Lord's Table to receive the greatest gift ever given. 

God's peace . . .

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