As I look out my window at the multi-colored display of foliage, I find myself thanking God again for the gift of seasons, each with its own distinctive mood and beauty. Each leaf is a declaration of the mind and heart of God who envisioned creating a world full of grandeur for us to inhabit. I’m reminded of Greg Elmer’s invitation into awe and wonder at our last Coracle Baltimore retreat on Creation as we recognized that God perfectly designed us to be able to perceive the beauty of the world around us, in which we are integral participants.
Coupled with the beauty each season brings comes the gift of rhythms. Rhythms help remind us of the goodness of God, which in turn helps look to the future with hope and anticipation. The changing of the leaves means Thanksgiving is near and with Thanksgiving comes the season of Advent and then Christmas is not far behind.
In the often frenetic demands of life, there is a danger of missing the beauty all around us. We all need help slowing down to breath and be attentive to the amazing things and people around us. Too easily we fall into the habit of racing from one responsibility and event to another and not take time to pay attention to all the ways God reveals His presence in each and every day. God has so much more to share with us if we make room to pay attention to His movement within and around us.
I relish the season of advent and embracing daily and weekly rhythms that help me watch and wait with expectation for how God is coming to me and to the world around me. I am helped by gifts like Celtic Daily Prayer that provides daily reflections beginning 40 days before Christmas and intensifying as Christmas Eve approaches. I also cherish setting aside a Saturday early in the advent season to communally remember how Christ came over 2000 years ago, making possible both his presence with me now, and the hope-filled promise that He will come again and make all things right. Saturday December 1st will be our third time offering the Coracle Advent retreat in Baltimore and it is a rich blend of guided meditations, shared worship and reflections, and time to be alone with God in an inviting space. We hope you will join us!
May each of us find the means of grace individually and corporately to welcome our Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit in the sacred season of Advent. They long to fill us with their joy and peace and overcoming love and the world around us longs for us to be their co-ministers of hope. As Dallas Willard delighted to remind us, our confidence (faith) is not a blind leap into the unknown. Rather it is a confidence rooted in our lived experience of how God has come to us and continues to come so that we might have life in abundance.
Community Minister for Coracle Baltimore