Pastor Barb’s Weekly Message 11/25/16

Pastor Barb’s Weekly Message
“Be up and awake to what God is doing.”
Romans 13:12, The Message
I write these words on the day after Thanksgiving, still in the warm glow of a leisurely dinner with friends and family (and still full of pumpkin cheesecake). It was a much-needed respite in everyone’s busy lives! But I know things will grow busy again as we turn toward Christmas. Over the next four weeks, our lives will be even more full than usual: holiday decorating, holiday baking, holiday parties, holiday concerts, holiday shopping, holiday travel … In the press of it all, it’s easy to forget that the root of “holiday” is “Holy Day.”
“Make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God,” Paul writes in Romans 11. (Ouch! Has Paul been looking at my calendar?) “Be up and awake to what God is doing.”
I need that reminder the wake up to what God is about, right here and now, right in the middle of all my plans and activities. I think we all need that reminder, especially in this season. And so on Sunday I’ll be talking about Advent, the four weeks of preparation for Jesus’s birth that marks the beginning on the Christian year. In particular, I want to explore the ways that Advent can open us up and allow us down, right metre and now, right in the middle of all our plans and activities.
It’s easy, even tempting, to put our heads down and plow fiercely through all that is before us in the next weeks.  Instead, Advent makes it possible for us to be wide-awake Holy Day people – right in the midst of the holiday season – people whose hearts and lives are tuned to God’s good news of life and light and grace.
In the words of Steve Garnaas-Holmes:
God, awaken me to your coming.
Even in the night around me
open the eyes of my heart
to the rising light of your presence.
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