Musings: Advent Thresholds To Love
The Third Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of Joy is behind us – and thankfully for me, so too is this cold/flu behind me – and that brings me joy! It was a rough week, and I am so very grateful for paid sick days and the ability to stay home and look after myself (and others by not being out spreading my contagion).
This morning I had a first read of the texts for this coming Sunday, the story in the gospel of Luke of Mary’s visit to her cousin Elizabeth and I was struck by the magnitude of all that happens at the threshold of Elizabeth’s home. Mary greets Elizabeth, at Mary’s greeting the child within Elizabeth ‘leaps in her womb’ and then Mary bursts into song… “My soul magnifies the Lord…”
Crossing the threshold is one of the more distinctive practices of Godly play. So important is the threshold that there must always be a door person with the storyteller. The role of the door person is to manage the threshold – to make sure that each crossing is meaningful. As each child approaches, the door person greets them “Hello, Bobbi, how are you doing this morning?” Then, the child is asked a question, “Are you ready to go in?”
Are you ready to go in? It’s a loaded question. Why would you ask if someone’s ready, unless there was something they needed to be ready for? The door person is pointing out that there’s a threshold there, and that the one entering needs to be ready to cross it.
This Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Advent is a threshold to love being born among us in the celebration of Christmas. Are you ready to go in?
This morning I am in the office. This afternoon I’ll be doing pastoral visits at the Drew Nursing Home after which I’ll be off to Moncton to do a couple of visits at the Hospital.
On Tuesday morning I will gather with the Lectionary Study Group at 10:30AM and in the afternoon I have two meetings scheduled.
Wednesday morning at 10AM Seniors Sharing the Table will be hosting the second Creative Community Christmas Crafting. Pizza will be served at 11:30 and then at 6PM the evening session will begin with supper of seafood chowder. Let’s hope that the weather cooperates and does not prevent our gathering together!
On Thursday morning I will host the Advent Pause at 10AM and spend the bulk of the day working on the liturgy and sermon for Sunday (interrupted briefly to take Rasta for a much-needed grooming appointment). On Thursday at 6:30PM I will meet with the Sackville United Church Executive for their December Business Meeting.
While I will take the bulk of Friday and Saturday off, I fully expect that some time will be devoted to preparing for the annual Longest Night Gathering that is scheduled for December 21st at 7PM.
Gathering on the Longest Night, the Winter Solstice, for what many call a Blue Christmas service has always been an important part of the season for me. Christmas is not easy for many – it brings with it grief and sorrow, loss and emptiness and the gathering on December 21st seeks to acknowledge all of the pain and loss and say, ‘that’s ok – that’s normal’ and to provide space for gently care for ourselves.
And, we’ll see you on December 18th at 11AM (if not before) as we mark the Fourth Sunday of Advent – the threshold of Christmas Eve. And, at 7PM you are invited to join Lloyd and Jennie at Ducky’s for Carols and Cocktails!