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

Monday, December 21, 2015

So close you can almost taste it - Rector's Rambling for December 20, 2015

Now it is getting so close that we can almost taste it!  It is the Fourth Sunday in Advent, and on Thursday night we will gather here at St. John’s with friends, family, and visitors to celebrate, with great solemnity, the Nativity of the Son of God, Jesus Christ our Lord!

But we are still in full Advent mode!  We are in the somber penitential purple colors, and once again we are reminded of our continual need for repentance and conversion, so that we may be open to God’s Grace and renewed in heart and mind.  Today’s gospel reading is John the Baptist testifying that he is the one who has been sent to prepare the way of the Lord, the same Jesus “whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.”  Yet it is because of that unworthiness (which we all share), and particularly when we, like John, admit our unworthiness, that we are able to be open to the free gift of salvation wrought for us ultimately in Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Following the 10:00 AM Service, after you have grabbed a quick bowl of soup, come on back upstairs to the sanctuary to decorate the church for the Christmas Feast.  It is still Advent after the service too, but we are now “liturgically” done with our four Sundays of Advent, and the next big event in the church is the Christmas Eve Service.

Remember the old saying – many hands make for light work.  We can have our massive nave and sanctuary decked out in an hour if we all pitch in!

And, of course, between now and Christmas Day, we should remember to pray the Collect for the First Sunday in Advent – reminding us of our Advent preparation for the Feast, and for His coming again at the end of time!


Almighty God give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour 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.