To say “Happy New Year” may seem premature on November 29, but our Christian year begins with the season of Advent and this way of beginning is itself significant. Rather the trumpets of Easter, or the sparkle of Christmas Eve, or the fires of Pentecost marking a new beginning, we enter in darkness, playing minor keys, and being asked to reflect on what was and what may be.
Most new beginnings are filled with anticipation before the actual “launch.” Consider what it takes to go to college, get married, start a company or career, or file for divorce. These beginnings require preparation and they also imply an ending to what was.
The early Christian church set the calendar at the end of harvest, when the season of winter descends into lifelessness and could bring about melancholy or even despair.
They read the dimming of light and heat as a foreshadowing of the time when life as we know it will end. To such a fear, the early church conceived of an adventus: a coming. Our faith proclaims that when this year and all our time ends, when our days are darkest, God comes.
Into this barren space of possibility, God comes to us in hope, peace, joy, and love. The New Year of Advent invites you to anticipate all the new possibilities.
See you in Advent worship…