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Advent Reflection

December 1, 2022
Chilling out after our time with dad. Tomorrow we fly back to Alabama and worship and an officer’s training retreat for the church.

The first week of Advent is almost over

This past Sunday’s reading from Isaiah spoke of the vision of a peaceable kingdom

Many peoples shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:3-4)

This week has been a week of winter weather delays in flying

It has been a week of winter driving through snow and ice

It has been a week of walking through the valley of the shadows of dementia

It has been a time of reflection

It has been a time of simply being still in the midst of it all with my beloved

Today’s reading from A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals (Dec 1st reading) speaks of Advent and Merton’s thoughts about life.

It is beautiful Advent weather, greyish and cold, with clouds of light snow howling across the valley, and I see it is really winter. I put some bread out for the birds. I feel closer to my beginning than ever, and perhaps I am near my end. (December 9, 1962)

It was definitely winter as we flew from Mobile, AL to Charlotte, NC to Minneapolis, MN before being diverted to Madison, WI and finally Milwaukee, WI where we landed and we’re refueled before finally flying to and landing in Minnesota in the midst of their first big winter snowstorm.

Tonight as we prepare for our flight back home to our sweet Stella and our Swift Church family we are thankful. Given our experiences these past few days, I am also cognizant of Merton’s final words in the quote above. I feel closer to my beginning than ever, and perhaps I am near my end.

In 1962 did Merton have any idea that he would die six years later? Instead of thinking about that, I am pretty confident that he would have thought about that particular day through the lens of the psalmist. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

What did Merton think about on that cold Advent day? He thought about feeding his dear bird neighbors. In addition I believe he thought about the beginning and the end of his life in a different way. Beginning or end, it is the current day in which we live that is important to God and to us.

With that in mind along with the challenges of this week, I realize that this indeed is the day which the Lord has made and we are called to rejoice and be glad in it as we seek to serve the Lord wherever we might be.

  1. I hope your trip home was less eventful than your trip to Minnesota, and you were greeted with warmth on your arrival.

    • It was much less eventful and Stella was happy we were home so that we could give her treats and play with her 😻

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