Dear Friends in Valhalla Parish—
Earlier this morning, my email inbox was inundated with messages from nearly every company I've ever interacted with online. Each and every one of them wanted me to know that today was the day I could save an incredible amount of money by partaking of their Black Friday deals. At the time of writing, there were already 29 such messages in my inbox. More may be on their way.
Instead of buying anything, I used this as an opportunity to unsubscribe from as many lists as possible.
We live in a fast-paced world of increasing noise. And yet, Advent invites us into a different experience of time. Slow time. Intentional time. Contemplative time. In these coming days, the church calendar invites us to slow down. We will be invited to consider the signs of the times, and to look for God's reign to come. We will be invited to join God in the liberating way of love—a way marked by weeping, confession, and resistance. We will be invited to journey with Mary, who proclaims the overthrow of oppressors, and the fulfilment of those pushed to the margins. We will be invited to find the Divine Presence in the most unlikely of people and places—a newborn baby found in rugged feeding trough.
This is sacred time. It is time to slow down. To pause. To reflect. It is time to recenter ourselves—or perhaps to re-center others who have been pushed to the margins of society. As we near Christmas, our hearts often turn to those who have been made poor in our society. We give in generosity to a variety of causes, and to needs that are before us. We give to the work of the church, and the work of those directly meeting the needs of those our society has pushed to its margins.
This year, the Community Harvest Food Bank—which operates out of St. David's lower hall—has put out a call for a variety of items to be donated. If you are able, they would be most grateful for any support. You can bring any of these items to the church on Sundays when you come to worship. We will bring these things to focus in our worship on Advent 3 (December 12th), but you are welcome to bring these items at any time, as you are able.
In Advent Hope,