The long-awaited sequel to this year’s Lent, Eastertide Great Fifty Days and Pentecost is finally here! The re-make, the return, just when you thought it was safe to come outside again…we’re back true believers! As we launch into a brand-new Christian year beginning today (and a Happy New Year for all the reasons we are about to celebrate!) with the First Sunday of Advent, I thought it right to take back up a daily blog inviting us to sustained, regular reflection upon the great mysteries of God unfolding through the drama of our divine worship through the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphanytide. I intend to continue our personal, informal tone using all the tools in our Anglican tradition….scripture, church tradition, human reason seasoned by experience…flavored by a broad engagement of scientific, literary, historical, cultural, psychological, cinematic and perhaps even occasionally comedic material, to bring God’s salvific transforming love more present and more visceral. Much has transpired since we last visited here at the Feast of Pentecost months ago and worlds away, but our Heavenly Father remains the same yesterday, today and always!
So…let’s all enjoy a brand new church year, a new church season of Futuris, a season to prepare our hear…wait? What?! Oh drat, that’s not the right name for this intensive season of preparation to receive the Christ-child at Christmas. So easy to forget that we aren’t being invited to simply peer into the misty, mysterious Christmas ahead of us with the Ghost of Christmases yet to come! That’s Dickens, not Jesus! We’ll let the 1938 Reginald Owen’s, 1951 Alastair Sim’s, 1970 Albert Finney’s, 1984 George C. Scott’s, 1988 Bill Murray’s, 1992 Michael Caine’s (yes, he did do it, with Muppets aplenty!), and even 1999 Sir Patrick Stewart’s Ebenezer Scrooges do that gig (Stewart BY FAR the best rendition!). No, our Christian forebears did not set us a season of science/speculative fiction, but rather an Adventus, a season literally “Coming Straight Towards Us” of God’s beneficent provision in-breaking into our lives right here, right now. A season of shocking intensity, of brevity, of sweeping and searching honesty before God and before each other. If you want advice about how to finish gift lists, choose theme colors, or best prepare for a long winter’s nap, well…this ain’t your devotional blog friend! But…if you, like me, hunger for God’s divine presence and look for God’s plan for my life in the midst of daily insanities, if you need Jesus’ love even more than a coming vaccine, if we can laugh a bit and think awhile and ponder some and even gentle our souls together…you are in exactly the right place. Onward, dear sisters and brothers! Get those Advent-in-a-bag activities ready, break out some blue/purple/violet, set up those candles and make sure there’s a pink on too, and let’s go Advent! Welcome back!