This Sunday marks the beginning of the Advent Season , and the beginning of a new church year. I don’t know about you, but I'm ready. I want the Lord to come and show us what’s in store this year—how will God show up? How will God surprise us? How will God be faithful to us? How will God change our lives? I’m ready for the mystery of God to unfold. I want to know and find out what God has in store.
Or do I? As Abraham Lincoln said, “The Almighty has his own purposes.” God’s purposes are not always mine. And if I’m honest with myself, I know that my purposes aren’t always clear to myself, nor are they always innocent. But nevertheless, I think I am ready to see what God has in store.
Think of history as a hurricane, an overwhelming force. Think then as faith as the eye—the calm and still point in the middle of the rush and power of history. You’re still in the storm, but you have reprieve. You can hear the rushing wind, but also see the sun. What if you could travel with the storm, always walking in the eye? That’s kind of the advice that Jesus gives to his followers this week—walk in faith, the eye of the storm of history.
As Advent begins, we typically begin the Haugen Liturgy, which the Rev. Barbara Lundblad adapted from Holden Evening Prayer many years ago. This year, based on conversations with several members, the Worship, Arts, and Music Committee, and the Church Council, we are going to do the Haugen Liturgy only Week 2 and 3 of Advent, that is, December 9th and 16th. The other two weeks, Week 1 and 4 of Advent, we will be doing liturgies that give us the opportunity to sing more of the church’s Advent repertoire. So, this Sunday, our service will be a more traditional style, but with a new and fun Kyrie. Many people treasure the Haugen liturgy at this time of year—others grow quickly tired of it. So we’re going to do both.
Please let me know how you like it. If this experiment doesn’t work, next year we’ll go back to our normal routine. But who knows what happens with change?
Finally, I have two announcements. First we really need some volunteers to help do some painting this Saturday. We have to paint the 3rd floor apartment to prep it for Cornerstone Studios to move in. Please email me at pastor at osanyc dot org if you’d like to help. We’ll probably start around 9 AM. Second, please join us beginning next Thursday for Advent Vespers at 7PM. These are short evening services that focus on prayer and meditation.