This month’s message comes from the Senior Warden, Roy McLeod.
My fellow Parishioners,
Days are growing short and leaves have begun to fall with profusion as we approach the end of this calendar year. In the church, we are also coming to the end of the liturgical year and are entering the season of Advent, the start a new liturgical year. In the dictionary, advent is cited as coming from the Latin “ad-venire” meaning to come. So, what is coming?
In our calendar year, we are moving to the shortest day of the year, the longest period of darkness on December 21st. In the natural world, plants and animals are going dormant, dropping leaves and hibernating as they await spring and a new burst of life. In the Christian year, we await the coming of the Light of the World-mildly, innocently and quietly on Christmas morn.
How do we prepare in Advent for this gift of eternal life? John the Baptist called for us to repent. As a former Rector said in a sermon years ago “our repentance is not so much a matter of being sorrowful as it is a matter of changing our minds”. We are asked to examine how we live our lives, how we deal with others, how we grow spiritually. The Rev. Peter Stimpson said several weeks ago that “faith is not something we get one day and our work is done. It is our growing awareness of God the Father and his Son Jesus.”
We at Manakin are entering our own Advent as we welcome a new rector and prepare to welcome a new light and hope for the future. And we are reminded, as the Rev. Tom Smith said in a sermon here during Advent 2003, that “Advent is a time of dreams and visions. It calls us to see visions and dream dreams of a new time and a new world.”
So we enter this new journey with Gini celebrating the wonderful loving community and tradition developed in this place over the past 317 years and moving hopefully into the future and whatever change it may bring. In closing, may the words written by John Rutter in his anthem “New Year” ring in our ears – “Turn your ears to the sound, turn your heart to the love. New life and love, and light, and hope this Good New Year”.
Roy G. McLeod