Grace and peace to you from God and our Lord Jesus Christ:

Advent lasts the four Sundays that precede Christmas Day each year. Then Christmas begins December 25 and keeps going for twelve days – January 6 is The Feast of the Epiphany and the transition out of Christmas to a time of Ordinary spiritual discovery and growth. Advent is a season to prepare ourselves for receiving Jesus Christ our King. We have the giddy expectation of the incarnation of God in the child of Jesus. What may have been lost for us in the commercialization of Christmas is that Advent is to Christmas what Lent is to Easter: “Prepare the way of the Lord.” We are preparing not only for Christ’s advent into the world, but the advent, the arrival of Jesus into our hearts and His “coming again in great glory.” As we walk the way of Baptism, the Judgment Day of God is itself the Gospel. It is the arrival of God’s reign when all that is broken will be made whole and justice with divine mercy will be visited upon all of humanity. Imagine our joy if we did not need Christmas this year. What would it be like if we put up decorations and bought gifts and treated our family and neighbors in preparation for Christ’s Second Coming? For this we are baptized and for this we are to live.

Light looked down and beheld Darkness.
"Thither will I go," said Light.
Peace looked down and beheld War.
"Thither will I go," said Peace.
Love looked down and beheld Hatred.
"Thither will I go," said Love.
So came Light and shone.
So came Peace and gave rest.
So came Love and brought Life.

(Laurence Housman, 1865-1959, as collected in MASTERPIECES OF RELIGIOUS VERSE, Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1948)
See you on Sunday, M. Vanessa +

Taken from the Dec 2013 / Jan 2014 St. James Newsletter
Love God. Love your neighbor. Change the world. ~ The Episcopal Church