We have entered that unique time of year when it becomes apparent how different the message of the world is compared to that of the church. In culture, we are hearing a loud message of sales and shopping, pre-holiday to-do lists, decorations, and festivities; all while Jesus' parables of judgment in the Gospels on Sundays are ramping up before Advent. We are definitely hearing two different messages!
But in the midst of all the holiday noise, this week in morning prayer (every weekday morning at Calvary Church at 8:30 a.m.) we heard a reading from Habakkuk chapter 2. The prophet's message at the end of the chapter is how humanity puts so much trust in the idols we construct. But these idols made from human hands are speechless; they have nothing to say for us. While much of the culture puts so much hope in the "holiday season", these merely secular festivities -- as fun as they may be -- have nothing to say to us. Instead, the prophet tells us not to pay attention to the silent idols around us, but for us to keep silence before the Lord, for he is the one who speaks to us and for us.
This word really struck me.
Everything in me wanted to stop the service of morning prayer and simply keep silence there in the chapel, but that may have been just a little too Quaker for us Episcopalians!
This season leading up to Advent and into Advent is a fantastic opportunity for us to keep silence and hear what God is saying in his word. I can think of no better opportunity for this than our annual Candlelight service on Sunday December 3rd. Come and listen as the word of God and his grace for us sinners is proclaimed in scripture, song, and sermon. It may just stop you in your tracks in the midst of this noisy holiday season so that you can keep silence and hear the Good News of Jesus for you and your loved ones.
Much love and peace to you in Christ,
The Reverend Jay Gardner