Pausing for Advent?

"Reign of Christ" or "Christ the King" Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, begins the Season of Holy Time in the Church Year.  It's a time when, if the world doesn't take pause, we, who follow Christ (and are not afraid to say His name) do... or, at least, can--if we want to pause in an increasingly secular and superficial world.

Where is the place you stop to think about what matters most?  For that matter, where is the place you feel free and cry?  Advent, in the Church, is that kind of place and that kind of time: and, maybe, that's what makes it Holy (as opposed to Ordinary) because, in Advent, we're invited to slow down (how counter-cultural);  look up (stars not only sing, they make 'silent' announcements, to the wise who notice them); remember (who it is that created stars); and praise (the One who comes in the most unlikely of places--a virgin's womb;  a Bethlehem cave).

I don't know about you, but I need a time and place to remember things like that; and the Church (and every church) should be a place that gives us a gift like that.Texas poet Naomi Shihab Nye put it  this way in one of her early poems from her first book of poems, "Different Ways to Pray" when she wrote a poem that could have been, in my view, about Seasons like Advent:

“When they say Don't I know you? say no.
When they invite you to the party
remember what parties are like
before answering.
Someone telling you in a loud voice
they once wrote a poem.
Greasy sausage balls on a paper plate.
Then reply.
If they say we should get together.
say why? It's not that you don't love them any more.
You're trying to remember something
too important to forget.
The monastery bell at twilight.
Tell them you have a new project.
It will never be finished. When someone recognizes you in a grocery store
nod briefly and become a cabbage.
When someone you haven't seen in ten years
appears at the door,
don't start singing him all your new songs.
You will never catch up.
Walk around feeling like a leaf. Know you could tumble any second.
Then decide what to do with your time.

Wishing you the Holy gift of Advent.

Pastor Linda
Rio Grande Presbyterian Church

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