Active Waiting

November 28, 2010

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA
Sermon on Matthew 24:36-44, given while serving as seminarian.

First Sunday of Advent – Year A (RCL) – Isaiah 2:1-5, Psalm 122, Romans 13:11-14, Matthew 24:36-44

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I had a great day with my family in Houston, and because one Thanksgiving meal is never enough, I had a second one with friends in Galveston on Thursday evening. As you can imagine, by nightfall my pillow was calling my name.

And as I went to sleep on Thursday night, powerful winds were rattling the windows, foretelling a dramatic change ahead. Throughout the night I could hear the howling winds as they continued to shake the windows and the eighty degree temperatures of Thanksgiving Day in Texas were replaced by chilly morning air and a cold soaking rain. A change of season was at hand.

Unlike Atlanta, where the vibrant orange and red leaves have been ushering in the seasonal change for several weeks, in southeast Texas there aren’t many visual signs of a change in season. The trees stay green most of the year, and if leaves are going to fall, they seem to do so overnight.

The visible change of seasons I’ve experienced since moving to Atlanta last January remind me of my college days in Ohio. I had forgotten just how much I love to see the visual diversity of God’s creation.

Like the variations in the seasons of nature, with icy snow, blooming flowers, scorching sun and falling leaves, the liturgical calendar also has different moods and theological emphases. These are revealed not only in the colors used at the altar and in the vestments, but also in the scriptural readings, the hymns we sing, and our prayer routine. Read the rest of this entry »

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