Archive for November 29th, 2007

This year November has five Thursdays, which gives us the luxury of ten days between Thanksgiving and the First Sunday of Advent. I’ve always had a particular resonance with the season of Advent, and I feel a bit cheated when it begins in the midst of the busy weekend after Thanksgiving. While I mostly abstain from the Black Friday madness, I nearly always have houseguests into the following week. So I’m especially grateful this year to have an extra week to get ready for the season. Advent is, for me, a contemplative time, a time of waiting, a time of reflection, a time to listen to the words of the great prophet Isaiah.

We close the liturgical year in the weekday lectionary with the apocalyptic readings from the Gospels, from the Book of Daniel, and from Revelation. Written to persecuted people, these readings offer a harsh sort of reassurance, the promise that no matter how bleak things look, God is always in charge and God’s rule will prevail. For most of us—thanks be to God!—our lives are not quite that desperate, and the images of cosmic battles seem a bit unreal. But the end of the liturgical year, like the end of the calendar year, reminds us that we have many place in our life that need attention.

Advent is a good time for a fresh start. The days are shorter, the evenings longer. Outdoor chores are mostly finished for another season. I find myself settling into new and different routines, and the liturgical season reminds me to make more time in my life for prayer, for scripture, for a little extra care for my soul.


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