Advent 2017 Letter from the Rector

Dear People of Ascension,

What are you longing for this Advent?

This is a season of paradox: it speaks of endings and beginnings, of mountains made low and valleys lifted up. The ancient prophets cry out warning and promise comfort. A pregnant virgin sings of God’s greatness: the rich sent away empty and the humble filled with good things.

In Advent, we prepare, we pray, we wait and watch. We do what we can and we come to the end of our capacity. The world is so broken, and we hunger for justice, peace and healing.

We look for the coming of God among us, the glory of the Lord, hidden in our own flesh, radiant for all the world to see. We believe that the light shines even in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it.

For me, the themes and images and sacred stories of this holy season ā€“ of waiting in the dark, of God who comes to save, and of a birth filled with joy, terror and mystery ā€“ touch the deepest longings of my heart. They speak to my condition most every year, but perhaps especially this one.

So, I invite you, dear brothers and sisters, to come together- to sing and pray, to hear the words of hope and promise, to serve and share, and to await the birth of the holy child. Advent is exceptionally short this year, with the 4th Sunday giving way immediately to Christmas Eve. I never seem to be ready ā€“ but ready or not, Christ comes. That is the wonder of Emmanuel, God with us.

Here is a link to a schedule of our special Advent and Christmas services. Please, give yourself the gift or participating in them, and opening your heart anew to the surprising birth of love.

At this time of year we have special expenses for the greens and flowers we use to make the church especially festive. If you would like to help with these costs, please mail a check or contact the parish office.

0 come, o come, Emmanuel. May God bless the longings of our hearts, and may this holy season bring peace, joy and good courage to us all, and through us to the world.

The Reverend Elizabeth G. Maxwell