We are finally in Advent! Yesterday’s services were such a refreshing change of pace, especially that evening service. Man, I love these evening Advent services. Maybe its because it embodies the Advent idea of waiting in the dark...gathering as the light has all but gone and darkness is continues to grow throughout the night. There is something radically hopeful about facing darkness and lighting a candle and proclaiming that darkness will not vanquish or destroy the light. I realize I already put this Howard Thurman quote on Facebook, but I think it may be my favorite quote of the year:
"[Waiting] is to watch a gathering darkness until all light is swallowed up completely without the power to interfere or bring a halt. Then to continue one's journey in the darkness with one's footsteps guided by the illumination of remembered radiance is to know courage of a peculiar kind - the courage to demand that light continue to be light even in the surrounding darkness. To walk in the light while darkness invades, envelops, and surrounds is to wait on the Lord. This is to know the renewal of strength. This is to walk and faint not." PREACH!
Also, look at this great piece of artwork done for the first week of Advent by ResCov's very own Liz Ahlem!
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and all it all it went pretty darn well. It was good to catch up with some members of my family who I haven’t seen either because they were gone when I was there over the past few years or vice versa. Also, there were no big fights over politics, which is always good. Those don’t seem to go well and weirdly enough never end up changing anyone’s mind. I think there should be a rule: no talking politics if you don’t see each other more than once a year. You just don't have the time or resources to have that conversation well.
To encourage laughter and humor on this Monday evening, here’s a text my 83 year-old Grandma sent to my sister over the Thanksgiving break:
“Peg (my aunt) will call u 4 a spot to meet in Woodbury. We r going to go out 4 nif’s (nickname for my cousin) b-day at 7”
If that’s not a sign of the apocalypse, I don’t know what is.
I have turned in my first two applications (Notre Dame and Duke), and when I get paid in the next couple days I will send out the other three. It feels like I'm sending my babies off to college, which I guess is kind of apropos. I make sure they have what they need (fill out the basic info), they got their oil changed (have the essays proofread), have some friends to look after them (letters of recommendation), and send them on their way. Granted there were not nearly the number of tears shed in this goodbye. Five kids and five different schools...I'm going to need another job!
To do this week: write a sermon, prepare two lectures, and some Relief of the World on the side. Here goes nothing!