Originally published in Trinity’s December 2022 Epistle.
Dear Friends in Christ,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!” is how our Psalm (122) for Nov. 27 begins. What a great invitation in the midst of our Expanded Advent. Advent is a season of journeys and anticipation. The journey of John the Baptist, the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, the journey of the magi from the East to greet the newborn king and our own journeys to see friends and family all mark these days leading up to Christmas.
We have tried to give you ways to take a breath and live into this rich church season while not giving you more things for your perhaps already to-do list. As early as Nov. 20 we will begin handing our Trinity-authored Advent daily devotion booklet and I will read the devotions aloud on Facebook live each day. Wednesday evenings (Nov. 30-Dec. 14) will include simple meals of soup and bread followed by Holden Evening Prayer, during which the message will be picture books read aloud. Dec. 21 we will go onto the patio for Blue Christmas: A Service of Night Prayer for the Winter Solstice. Dec. 4 we will conclude our Season of Gratitude and you will not want to miss our accompanist Kaiti Walton singing O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion. Dec. 18 we will sing along with our kids as they share the Christmas story with us during worship. Along the way we are also offering some opportunities for service: compiling holiday gift bags for residents of Trinity New Hope after worship Dec. 12 and assembling Christmas food boxes after worship Dec. 19. It’s not too late to join our Zoom study group (Psalms and Prayers) on Sunday evenings. Check out the Advent Playlist on our website (nampatrinity.org) for other ways to engage.
At some point, remember to simply breathe, perhaps the most simple and important part of prayer. Breath in and give thanks that the same God who gave you the breath of life came among us as a human being. Gaze up at the night sky and breath. Breathe out and give thanks for the shepherds who were the first to visit the infant Jesus on a night so long ago. With them and the angels, let us together give thanks for Immanuel, God with Us!