|12/15/2012 1:02:00 AM|
Liturgy Geek Squad
|By Teri Ditslear|
Joy in the Journey
This week begins the third week of Advent; the third week of the Christian Church year and our third week of what the world calls the "Christmas season." The liturgy snobs, typically church musicians, pastors, and some altar guild members, are very aware that this is not Christmas. This is the time before Christmas; the time of waiting expectantly for Christ to come to us. Since becoming a Lutheran pastor, I now put myself in this grouping of the "liturgy geek squad," or liturgy nerd. Instead of wearing white shirt, black tie, black pants and a pocket protector, I wear lots of blue, sometimes a splash of purple for repentance sake. I also have an affinity, at this time of year, for Advent wreaths; 4 purple candles in a circle of evergreens surrounding the white Christ candle. Being slightly "progressive," I do accept the idea of one of the candles being pink, signifying "Joy," although some traditions think this is just too over the top! My musical tastes are not like the world's either, this snobby liturgist wants to hear such tunes as, O' Come, O' Come Emmanuel and Come thou Long Expected Jesus. Radio stations typically start blasting Christmas songs way too early, in my opinion. This forcing of the Christmas season goes along with the conspiracy of the opportunistic, frantic and consumerist buying frenzy of the business world.
Oh my word, I sound like a bah humbugger don't I? I'm not really...it is just that I long for a "longing period." I too, get caught up in the scurry and hurry of the season. Yes, we have our Christmas tree up, lights and decorations. Yes, I have my list and have checked it twice. I have gotten into my car and sang those Christmas songs with gusto. But...I long to do what John the Baptist calls us to do...Make way for Jesus! Starting with repentance to clear my heart, my mind, and spirit, making room for hope, peace, love and joy; I long to make room for God to dwell in me.
In this week's lectionary reading, Luke3:7-18, John the Baptist is having his own little Advent season, and he encourages us, as well, to do the right thing in preparation for Jesus. Starting with a curt and snarky admonishment he asks us, no commands us to repent of our sins. This will ultimately, make our hearts more accepting, and more forgiving. We will have room for hope. We confess our sins so that we might receive forgiveness and when we accept this forgiveness we are more likely to forgive others. This dear friend is accepting Jesus into our hearts and into our midst. Welcome first Advent...and then...
Come Lord Jesus.
"Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the preaching of John, that in your salvation, we may bring forth the fruits of repentance, through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy spirit One God now and forever." Amen.
(ELCA Prayer of the Day, Dec 13, 2012)
Teri Ditslear lives in Noblesville and is Associate Pastor of Evangelical Mission at Cross of Grace Lutheran Church, New Palestine. She is also the Mission Developer for Cross of Life Lutheran Church, Noblesville.
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