Pastor’s Corner – December 3, 2023

When the branches get tender leaves come out, you know the summer is near…

Mark 13: 28

We begin our liturgical year with Advent. It is a season that calls us to look deeply within our longing and hope for ourselves and for the world. It calls us to pay attention to the coming, a new possibility we could not have imagined. It is easy to be caught up with our routine, our familiar season of Advent as simply preparation for Christmas, the birth of Jesus as a cultural event. Advent, however, is transformative and disruptive.

The gospel of Mark gives us a lesson of a fig tree, to look for a sign.  We know summer is near when the leaves come out. So, what are these leaves we should be looking for in our time and place? What are the things that are coming to an end and possible new beginnings? Perhaps what is coming to an end are things that have been in the process for quite some time and seem inevitable. Whatever the changes we live through, it’s marred with the grief of letting go. It’s easy to say we need to let go because so much of our suffering comes from attachments to the way things are, but our attachments in life are things we hold dearly, places we live, friendship and love, relationships that give us so much joy.  We know that life as we know it is perishing and changing, no one stays forever but it’s just a matter of time. Nothing remains the same.  We will all one day return to the place where we came from, “to dust we shall return” as we say on Ash Wednesday. The question we need to ask then is what are things that are coming to an end and what possibility can we name during this season of Advent? What’s the point of Advent? Watch, keep awake! 

Come this Sunday to worship God and let us reflect and deepen our understanding of Advent that may be discomforting. 

Pastor Dae