December 22, 2016

To Be

My church didn’t have the usual children’s Christmas pageant this year, but we certainly did rejoice in evidence of God with us. The third Sunday of Advent included 5 Baptisms and 11 Confirmations, Receptions, or Reaffirmations! It was a bittersweet day, however, for while our new Bishop came to help us celebrate, we also bid a formal farewell to our Rector who is retiring after ten years of faithful, fruitful ministry. Whew! There was a lot going on.

Author of deep writings about spirituality, Evelyn Underhill, reminds us that whether in the routine of our liturgical year, or the frantic race of the days before Christmas, something new is always stirring, if we stay vigilant to watch for it.

We mostly spend those lives conjugating three verbs: to Want, to Have, and to Do. Craving, clutching, and fussing, on the material, political, social, emotional, intellectual – even on the religious – plane, we are kept in perpetual unrest: forgetting that none of these verbs have any ultimate significance, except so far as they are transcended by and included in, the fundamental verb, to Be: and that Being, not wanting, having and doing, is the essence of a spiritual life. – from Advent with Evelyn Underhill, edited by Christopher L. Webber.

The light of the eternal essence of our Being is glowing warm and bright. However we celebrate, let’s take time to contemplate…

John 1: 1-5 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (New Revised Standard Version)

May your Advent and Christmas include spiritual renewal that lifts and sends you with light into the world.