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 05, 2017

Hurry up and wait - Rector's Rambling for December 3, 2

And so we begin a new year with the celebration of Advent.  When the rest of the world shouts, “hurry up!”, “buy this!”, or “here is a deal”, the church says to slow down, to reflect, and to prepare internally and spiritually for those things with eternal consequences.
Advent is a season of the Already and the Not Yet.  We are preparing for that which has already happened – the birth of Jesus Christ, and for that which has not yet happened – His return in glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead.  It isn’t “pre-Christmas”, but an intentional time of preparation by looking at the state of one’s soul.
This year, however, we will feel a bit rushed about Advent because the 4th Sunday in Advent is also Christmas Eve.  We miss out on the days that we would usually have between the 4th Sunday and Christmas to reflect and prepare.
The first three weeks of Advent will be full of our regular busy activity of Soup Luncheons, Bazaar, Gift-Giving Tree, Warm Fuzzy Mitten Tree, and the Cookie Walk.  Be sure to patronize all these events.
This year, because of the Advent IV and Christmas Eve overlap, we will have to stagger our church decorating.  Instead of doing it all on the weekend of Advent IV, please plan on staying after church for 45 minutes on December 10 and or December 17 as we start to put up the pew candles, draping greens on the balcony, etc.
And, of course, now is the time to begin inviting friends, neighbors, and family to attend worship for Advent and to attend our Christmas Eve Services.  This is the time of year when people who may not be regular about church attendance are looking for a place to worship.  God may be using you to bring them to Himself through the ministry of this parish.  Don’t miss the opportunity to “talk up St. John’s” whenever you get the opportunity to do so, and offer to bring them down here for an Advent Sunday and Christmas Eve.
Prepare!  Reflect!  Christmas is coming, and Jesus is coming back.  Let us be ready by His grace.