Calvary Episcopal Church

Memphis, Tennessee


The First Sunday of Advent
December 3, 2000
Volume 45, No.43

The Final Chorus of W.H. Auden's "Christmas Oratorio" Expresses the Advent Faith:

"Follow him through the land of unlikeness:
You will see rare beasts and have unique adventures."

Appropriately he has linked the Advent and Christmas events with the coming of a new age into the world. It was God's way of introducing the radically new into human history. The divine is not fixed, static or bound by the past. God is always in process of making things new.

The message for us is that we don't have to be content with the world as it is. The church calendar calls into consciousness the existence of a world uninhabited by hatred, greed or violence. We are allowed to dream of impossibilities. Hope is created that through the power of God's love revealed in Christ we can expect the coming of a different kind of Kingdom. The Advent calendar reminds us that we can experience a world infused with peace, harmony and joy. The Advent faith always moves us to the future instead of locking us into the past. Therefore, we can expect surprises.

To experience the meaning of this Holy Season requires imagination, a sense of wonder and a willingness to risk in order to become partners with God in the New Creation. That is where Calvary Church comes in. We are a people who have not been deterred by the past. Our programs are geared to open us up to what God can do for us today. The days of Advent can be for us an opportunity not only for learning but for experiencing the joy of sharing in the work God is doing in the world.

Do we not anticipate the great events of music and worship that await us? The singing of Handel's Messiah has the power to lift our spirits and expand our vision. The Feast of St. Nicholas provides a greater understanding of the true meaning of our faith. The lighting of the Advent wreaths binds us together as a faith community. All the beauty that surrounds the Eucharist provides the opportunity to enter the "land of unlikeness."

By the way, have you seen any rare beasts lately? And, are you ready for some unique adventures?
~Brooks Ramsey

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