Saint James Anglican Church

Joseph Howe Drive at the Armdale Rotary, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada             


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Advent 2007

 

"Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." -Luke 3:4

 

Stuart McLean is one of Canada's most popular and entertaining storytellers. His Christmas recording Vinyl Cafe: A Christmas Collection contains some wonderful stories, including "Dave Cooks the Turkey". Dave volunteers to look after Christmas dinner at his house, in order that his wife Morley and their children may volunteer at the foodbank on Christmas day. Only late on Christmas Eve does Dave discover that looking after the turkey means looking after all aspects of the meal. He has overlooked one crucial piece of preparation. The story is hilarious, and provides some interesting insight about holiday preparation and celebration.

 

Advent presents a number of challenges. It is the first season of a new church year, but is often lost in the end of the calendar year. Advent allows us to prepare for the coming of Christ into our midst, but is often collapsed into an early start of Christmas festivities. The focus of Advent is preparation, but activity and holiday planning often blur the focus of this wonderful season of preparation.

 

Preparation is crucial to taking hold of life's large moments. Young people study to prepare for life following graduation. Careful retirement planning is given serious and detailed preparation. Preparation for life events runs the gamut: financial planning, obtaining skills, physical conditioning, emotional preparation, and spiritual practice. Members of the Christian community are called to thoughtful preparation for spiritual events such as baptism and marriage. Preparation allows us to fully claim the promises of God, and enables us to keep faith with both God and others. This time of year many people are planning to spend time in comfort and with good company. Others are preparing for a Christmas alone or in need.

 

"Prepare the way of the Lord." John the Baptist called God's people to prepare for the coming of the messiah. The kind of preparation John called for is known as conversion. It has little to do with activity. It has everything to do with reflection, prayer, relationship, and faith. How else does one really prepare for the coming of justice and peace? This advent season catch the wave of the season. Take some time for prayer. Create some opportunities to be kind and generous to others. Become reacquainted with the scripture stories -those leading up to the birth of the Christ child. Prepare for a Christ who comes not as a fleeting guest but as a constant companion-one who will take you on a journey into faithful community.

 

Canon Rod Gillis Advent 2007