Search This Blog

Monday, November 29, 2010

Starting the Pilgrimage of Advent

Today started Advent.  Recently, I had the privilege of listening to my friend Janet give the sermon for the morning.  She said some deep things about getting ready for Advent --- she said I could share: 

A few weeks ago the certain signs began to appear that the Holiday season is fast approaching. Advertisements for old games with a new twist like monopoly on DVD began appearing. But last week the signs were really clear and now there is no denying that the folks in commercial land want us to immediately jump into the holiday spirit of Christmas shopping with no reservations. But, wait a minute, I’m not there yet, I’m not even sure if I’m ready for Thanksgiving. Frankly, I’m not sure where I am at all. In just 2 weeks we celebrate the first Sunday in Advent. When I was a child Christmas couldn’t come soon enough. My heart and mind were ready and open to jump right in but as an adult I have accumulated burdens, I have reservations. I need more preparation. I need solitude and quiet, time to contemplate and prepare myself as if for a pilgrimage towards Christmas morning.

I love the idea of going on a pilgrimage like people did in the middle ages. It is a journey to prepare oneself to receive a gift of the sacred. Just think of what it must have been like living on a farm and dreaming about journeying to a Cathedral like Chartre in France. Imagine the excitement and anticipation as well as the fear of the unknown. On a pilgrimage every step is sacred and a step towards drawing closer to God. Some even make pilgrimages on their hands and knees. There is an expectation on a pilgrimage that you will encounter danger but also epiphanies and renewed hope. The gain far outweighs the danger. A pilgrimage is as much about the journey as it is the destination.

A pilgrimage is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding our vision of what is possible, stretching our soul, learning to see deeply, listening with our intuition, and taking courageous steps.

Told you ---- so --- are you ready for a pilgrimage this Advent?? I can’t wait to see what we’ll discover, how I’ll change and grow.