Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Look busy? Be holy! - Rector's Rambling for December 14, 2014

It’s kind of like halftime.  Today is Gaudéte [Rejoice] Sunday, when we lighten up by using the rose colored vestments and altar hangings rather than the purple.  Although Advent doesn't have the depth of penitential sense as that other purple season, Lent, it still is an emphasis in preparing properly for the upcoming celebration for Christmas AND for Jesus’ return at the end of time.  God forbid Jesus returns and finds us unprepared like the foolish virgins who brought no oil for their lamps.
The next 11 days will be particularly busy.  Today is the Cookie Walk.  The giving tree gifts are being brought in to be delivered, and the tree transforms into the mitten (or warm fuzzy) tree for us to donate new or gently used hats, gloves, scarves and sweaters for those less fortunate.  Next Saturday and Sunday we will be greening (decorating) the church in anticipation of the Christmas Eve and Day celebrations.  Plan on volunteering on one or both days to make the church look extra special for both our parishioners and guests.  The children will be rehearsing next week at 9:30 AM for the Christmas Eve Children’s Pageant and the Children’s Choir has been busy preparing their offering at that service.  And, of course, the Choir has been very busy preparing music for the 8:30 and 9:00 PM services.
I joked in my sermon on the First Sunday in Advent about the bumper sticker, “Jesus is coming soon: look busy”.  Of course Salvation is nothing about looking or being busy.  But busy this time of the year can be a wonderful, positive opportunity for interaction and service to the greater Glory of God, and that is always a good thing!  But be sure to also take time to pray, read, and listen to God in preparation for the Feast of the Nativity AND Jesus’ return too.

The Collect for the First Sunday in Advent
Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever.  Amen.
This Collect is to be repeated every day, after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Day