Dec 5, 2017
The church year begins anew when Advent arrives in early December. Advent is the Happy New Year for those who worship in a liturgical main-line Christian faith community. We start our year not with "Auld Lang Syne" but with "O Come O Come Emmanuel". Robert Burns song/poem entitled "Auld Lang Syne" (for the sake of old times) is a melancholy desire to remember the "good ole days" especially as the new year unfolds. Remember your friendships and the time spent with loved ones.
As Christian people we finish our church year with great remembrances of all that we enjoyed, experienced and endured. We thank God for the generous provisions which we have received right alongside of the great challenges which have come our way. We have not made the trek through the prior year by ourselves. God's amazing grace has been our constant companion and our sure solace. We look back (Auld Lang Syne) with eyes firmly directed to what's ahead, "O Come O Come Emmanuel."
As Robert Burns posits, "Should Old acquaintances be forgotten" as we enter the new year? By no means! We are familiar with God's mercy and presence as we look forward to the coming again of the Bethlehem born Jesus who never forgets us. "O Come, O Come" as this new liturgical year begins.
Packages are wrapped and gifts are sent. Carols are sung and cards are penned. Trees are dressed and banquets are prepared. Advent is the time to prepare for the "with-child" Mother Mary and her espoused Joseph. We ready our hearts and homes for something familiar and something quite foreign. We receive God's great love delivered on the back of a donkey and born in a stable. Advent is the coming of the Coming one. Pr. C