Walk the Advent Trail

Readings: Psalm 146:5-10; Ruth 1:6-18; 2 Peter 3:1-10

Then she started to return with her daughters-in-law from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had considered his people and given them food. So she set out from the place where she had been living, she and her two daughters-in-law, and they went on their way to go back to the land of Judah. But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law,”Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me.” Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.

So she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die – there will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!”

When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.

Ruth1:6-18, NRSV

Here I sit, my desk cluttered with paper; with a half filled cup of too-cold-to-drink coffee;  a laptop with a cursor that flusters me as it moves around faster than I can think; two Bibles ( I like to compare translations); and an oil lamp in need of filling  (nice imagery, right?). I’ve a task to complete. In front of me are the Advent Readings for 2022, courtesy of  a ministry called Google Docs.  This is  more than just a list.  It’s an App! The first reading for Advent started on November 24 Thanksgiving Day.  Did I read those readings…..?  No, I did not. But more opportunities exist!

My Advent  wake up call generally comes on the first Sunday of Advent. Regal purple altar hangings,  big purple candles, a big pink candle and one big white candle  wrapped at the base with beautiful fresh winter greenery on a Victorian  iron stand has a way of getting one’s attention.

 I would tell you that I  know the meaning of Advent, albeit in its simplest form.  I say this because I recently was privileged to hear a  sermon – a rather thundering sermon to be exact – addressing the very  topic of Advent. Upon hearing it I could not help but think  ah geez Miss McGillacuddy,  I should have had my pen and notepad with me. 

You see, I  came away from that sermon for the first time realizing  that this liturgical season  called Advent,…includes me as a participant! I’ve got to walk the AdventTrail  and not just observe, which is  why this list, this Advent App, is so helpful in figuring out how one begins the  adventure of not only walking the Advent  Trail, but actually getting rolled up in it!

So, here I am ready to step out of my comfort zone and participate in Advent with much the same kind of loyalty that  Old Testament Ruth had when she followed her Mother-in-law  to Bethlehem., exuding gratitude saying .… Praise ye the Lord, Praise ye the Lord, oh my soul. Psalm 146:1

Offered by Marcia Meinerth, child of God.

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