Advent Meditations

Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 23

by Jenny Tisi

According to the Celtic Advent Calendar, the last 7 days of Advent are a time to reflect on the great “O Antiphons.” “O Come, O Come Emanuel”, the 7th of the “O Antiphons”, is today’s reflection. This being the last day of Advent, a season I didn’t recognize for most of my life, I have thought about how much the season has meant to me since I have come to All Saints. The calendar asks, “How is God with you?”

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 22

Joy As Art and Discipline
by Ed Bacon

I’ve never thought that Joy was a responsibility – a discipline, in fact – that is until this December.

You see, joy has always come easily to me. I love being happy, upbeat, and optimistic; my mother majored in optimism and infected me with in utero. Looking on the sunny side of life gives me pep. Finding hope no matter the conditions of life has the power to change the energy in the room, in a relationship, and in a work or family system. Responding with positivity to bleak circumstances helps one to function more creatively. My great mentor, Rabbi Edwin Friedman, that the opposite of fear, which he understood as living into our uniqueness in leadership and maturity actually improves brain functioning. I must admit, however, that all of this – both by virtue of my personality and the way my parents and mentors shaped me (nature and nurture) has been pretty easy for me.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 21

Mary’s Song is Our Song
by James Walker

Several colleagues suggested that I share the process of composing Magnificat, recently offered at our Advent Festival of Lessons and Carols. While I’m not usually drawn to writing about music (preferring to make music), this seems appropriate as we focus on Mary on the 4th Sunday of Advent.

I have long been attracted to the theology and poetry of “Mary’s Song”, with the rich imagery of Mary’s mystical experience and her profound response to God’s call. In composing this Magnificat in 2008, I set out to create not only a piece which evokes the historical vision of Mary, but to make that call tangible for us today.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 20

by Francisco Garcia

(Excerpts from Luke 1:26-38)
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.

And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.

The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

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Advent Meditation: December 19

by Susan Russell

The daily meditations that arrive in my email inbox from Richard Rohr are always worth reading and usually worth sharing. We are honored as a parish to be the venue for the video presentations of his “Conspiracy for God” conference series (“Season One” available for “Re-Viewing” on January 10th at All Saints) – and his recent reflection on The Incarnation struck me as a great addition to our Advent Meditation Calendar.

“Incarnation” by Richard Rohr

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 18

by Jeremy Langill

Last Sunday many of our parishioners, including over 50 of our own youth and parents, participated in a non-violent march to protest against the police brutality so unequally and disproportionately visited upon young men of color. It was something that I really wanted to do, a small but an important way to peacefully voice my frustration and anger at a system of justice that continually demonstrates its lack of care for the least of these.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 17

by Janine Schenone

This coming Sunday of the Annunciation celebrates the moment when the angel Gabriel brings the young girl Mary the good news that she will be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and will bear a son. “How can this be?” she asks.

Indeed. Naturally my mind turns to angels, virgin births, and miracles. When I first started at All Saints, I inherited the large Virgen de Guadalupe picture that was in Abel Lopez’s office—the picture we use in many of our Spanish feast day services. La Virgen de Guadalupe stares at me from across my desk every day, and a smaller, European icon of Mary and Jesus gazes at me from my nightstand at home every night.

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Advent Meditation: December 16

by Anne Breck Peterson

Today is the birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven. It is also the birthday of yours truly. I’ve always wondered if Beethoven made his family hold off on all the Christmas decorations until his birthday had been properly celebrated, in the way that I did when I was younger. Now that I am so terribly mature, I get my tree up early and enjoy all the festive hangings which seem to go up before we’ve had a taste of our Thanksgiving turkeys.

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Advent Meditation: December 15

by Jim Loduha

This year it has been difficult for me to get into the Christmas spirit. It is often my favorite time of year, a time for generosity and the warmth of friendships and family. This year feels different, and I’m wondering if the uneven economy, the pattern of systemic injustices and the brash insincerity among national leaders is making me weary. In the face of my exhaustion, I am this morning considering the reminder of a favorite author, Gustavo Gutiérrez. (Forgive me using only excerpts from a devotion he wrote in Watch for the Light.)

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Advent Meditation: December 13

by Francisco Garcia

“Nonviolent resistance avoids not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love. In struggling for human dignity the oppressed people of the world must not allow themselves to become bitter or indulge in hate campaigns. To retaliate with hate and bitterness would do nothing but intensify the hate in the world. Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can be done only by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr., 1957

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Advent Meditation: December 12

by Christina Honchell

“The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe”

I fell in love with her in the 1980s, when I became a Roman Catholic. Ours was a great passion at first; I couldn’t get enough of her. My home was filled with her images, much to the astonishment, and occasional consternation, of my husband and family. She was the embodiment of my newly restored faith, she was beautiful and colorful, she was exotic and political. She was my 500-year old girlfriend.

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