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Message from Rev. Christopher Ryan:
“But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.” Mark 13:24-27
Advent has always been perplexing. Every year, we pretend that Christmas has not already happened so we can pretend to wait in anticipation. We speak of the coming King, born in a manger, knowing all the while that the event to which we look forward already took place long ago.
The Gospel of Mark speaks of a coming calamity and a hope to follow – a scattering of God’s people and a subsequent gathering up. It is accepted that the Gospel of Mark was written very shortly after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. The calamity, therefore, has already happened by the time the story predicting it is written. The first readers of this Gospel, therefore, are not living in a time of anticipation but in a time of gathering… just like us.
Trinity is home to many people and families who have fallen out of the habit of fellowship. Some are busy with the multiple demands of living and life. Some have experienced a kind of calamity; their health has taken a turn, they have been hurt by somebody in the church in one manner or another or they have become disillusioned or frustrated.
Those who experience Trinity as Home and desire to make Trinity a home for others may view Advent not as a time of anticipation but as a time of Gathering. Let us not wait. Let us engage fully the work of seeking, calling and encouraging those who are scattered. Let us make Advent a season of action. By all means and any means, let us throw open our arms in welcome and bring our Sisters and Brothers Home. Bless You, Christopher
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