Episcopal Diocese of Washington
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Bishop Mariann’s Blog
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this great mortal life when your son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility….
- Prayer for 1 Advent
“While Christians share Christmas with the culture,” wrote the late Peter J. Gomes, chaplain at Harvard, “Advent is a season we have all to ourselves.”
“It is hard to believe that Advent is so nearly upon us!” wrote a member of the Cathedral Foundation Board last week. “My thoughts always turn at this time of year to Bonhoeffer's comparison of Advent to a prison cell in which one waits for a door to be opened that can only be opened from the outside….”
I’ve been pondering how to honor the gentle counter-point of Advent, a season that begins with somber overtones of mortality and grief and then gives way to quiet anticipation of the One who comes from the other side of our prison doors. While I would love it if my life allowed for more solitude and meditation, December typically goes in the opposite direction, with an abundance of opportunity to connect with people far and near. I also love each occasion for renewed friendship, reaching out to others, and celebration that December brings.
My Advent mantra therefore will be that of presence. I pray for grace to be fully present to my life, to those around me, and to whatever God needs me to make room for and wait for this Advent.
As an expression of that commitment to be present, I will find time each day to read a small portion of Holy Scripture. Starting next Monday, I will turn to page 936 in the Book of Common Prayer and read the appointed Scripture passages in the Daily Office Lectionary, Year One. My intention is to read all three passages and the psalms (which are indicated by the numbers on the first line for each day). If I have time for only one passage, I will read the gospel text.
If you already read Scripture each day, or if you’d like to join me in a new common endeavor, would you mind letting me know by responding to this blog? Your commitment will help me honor mine.
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