Advent Thoughts

Anyone who knows me at all knows what a big admirer I am of Presiding Bishop { of the Episcopal Church} Katharine Jefferts-Schori. I’ve read both her books & have an extensive collection of ++ Katharine quotations written down & tucked inside the front cover of my Book of Common Prayer.

But right now, this quote by ++ Katharine seems to sum up my Advent , 2009 experience. :

“God’s mission continues. We can’t always predict the shape it will take or how the good news will be expressed. Yet God continues to be at work, transforming the world around us.
Our job most often is to discover the gifts we have and then to offer them to the opportunities and challenges around us. Sometimes that’s called cooperating with the Spirit. Even if the obstacles seem insurmountable, faithful persistence eventually will see the fruit of seed planted long ago.”++ Katharine Jefferts-Schori

I do not sit well with uncertainty. Maybe its due to my autism, but I * really* hate living in any sort of limbo …even if the change will eventually move on to better things, stronger relationships, more opportunities to use the gifts bestowed upon me by the Creator, ect I still fear the unknown. It is human nature to want safety & stability. But anyone who has followed the economy lately knows that the world is a volatile place.

But Advent is a season of looking towards the Light & I was reminded of this today at Mass when I saw the warm flames of the candles on the Advent Wreath. Mary, a young Jewish girl, said ” yes” to being a literal God-bearer. Can you imagine what it would have been like for a poor young woman to bear the responsibility of bearing & raising the Son Of God? But in our own way, each of us is called to bear Christ in our own way & in this time. Our Baptism calls us not to be merely Christ-followers, but Christ-bearers. We never know whom our Christ-light will touch nor of the effects of that tiny flame which might grow into a huge, passionate love for Christ & Christ’s Church.

Bishop Katharine’s Advent message to the Church really spoke to me. We are called to be people of action, not just ” pew warming Christians. As we wait for the birth of our Savior we are called to fill our days with service. I saw somewhere{ a bumper sticker??} with the phrase” When the worship ends, the service begins”. A-men!

I took a huge leap of faith when I first came to my parish, & now I cannot imagine my life without being a part of my parish. At this time last year, I wasn’t even yet singing in the parish choir & now I am an alternate to my first Dio Convention in 2010. In addition to my liturgical service{ lector & choir member} I am also the Captain of the parish’s Relay For Life team. God’s Mission, , what ++Katharine calls” Shalom” is at work in me & in so many others I know.

Here is an example from my own life:

Three years ago, if one would have forseen my being a Team Captain for Relay , I would have laughed hysterically. But God kept knocking until I finally opened the door to that realm of service. I’m terribly shy, disorganized & { for the most part} avoid groups of people as much as possible. But, I am needed to serve as Team Captain his year, & God knows of my extreme introversion. But I have the time & talents for this service & I’ve discovered that I even enjoy working with a group of fabulous & people.

The Diocese of Los Angeles took a HUGE leap of faith this weekend at their Convention & I applaud them for their willingness to listen & respond to the stirrings of the Holy Spirit. Not only did they recognize the stirrings of the Spirit, they, by voting as they did , responded to her. in a way that will transform their Diocese for the better.
I love my Episcopal Church with all my heart & am * very* proud of her.

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