In this first week of Advent, I pray that you are able to find some time this season to prepare for Christ’s coming in meaningful ways. Advent and Christmas remind us that God makes a home within us, and we also remember that God makes a home in the world. So, to grow in Christ, we must travel both the inward and the outward journeys. The journey inward--which includes such practices as prayer, meditation, reflection, and keeping Sabbath--leads us to the indwelling God. The outward journey--expressed in acts of service, kindness, and justice--opens us to the God of compassion who loves all creation and especially identifies with the powerless and poor. A healthy spiritual life balances and integrates the inward and outward journeys, and there is no better time to cultivate this balance than in the season of Advent. Where can we nurture and offer hope, peace, joy and love in the world?
Our congregation offers many opportunities to practice these inward-outward disciplines together, in the context of a community of disciples. Journey inward each Sunday in one of our worship services or come to our Wednesday noon Advent services in the chapel; attend the Presbyterian Women service or the children’s ministry live nativity. Journey outward by extending hospitality at Room in the Inn or the many ministries at Community Crossroads, or by volunteering at our Habitat build or the Christmas Toy Store this Saturday. Advent can be a beautiful season of both silence and service, worship and witness, for the inward-outward balance is, in fact, God’s word incarnate in our lives and our world.
Blessings on this journey together.