Advent… A Pilgrimage of the Soul


Sunday, December 2nd, marks the beginning of the Advent Season around the world. This four-week season of preparation provides the space for silence,reflection and growth as we embark on a pilgrimage toward the Christmas – the celebration of Christ‘s presence in our lives. While Sunday’s Gospel depicts strong images of the coming of the ”Son of Man” and the warning to – “Be vigilant at all times” (Lk 21:25-36) , I find just as strong a challenge in the day’s Psalm 25 where we hear: “To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O My God in you I trust… He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way….” How often do I lift of my soul to my God? Do I have a teachable (humble) spirit where God is concerned? Can I recognize in the daily noise of my life, that God is God…. and I am not?

Humility is one of those words that has come to stand for something entirely different than its root meaning. The word humility comes from the Latin word for the earth, “humus.” In that sense, to have humility is to acknowledge one’s grounding, to be proud of one’s humanity. Unfortunately, humility has come to mean lowliness and self-abasement. The words mouse or doormat are sometimes seen as synonyms. But think of the function of humus for the soil… in a sense the throw-aways from farm or kitchen decompose and combine into a rich a gift of service to the soil it amends. In our lives, isn’t it true that our personal experiences, the stuff we’d rather bury from our own lives, can become the richest source of growth if we stand humbly before our God, teachable, open to being turned, mixed and decomposed into our essential human nature. The fullness of our humanity as God envisions – in it’s fullness, light and darkness, joy and sorrow. What an awesome process to open ourselves to this Advent.

If this message speaks to you today, join us to continue this conversation on Saturday December 8, for our Annual Advent “Pilgrimage of the Soul” led by Gail Murphy. This year we focus on the season’s Spirit of Humility, the hope-filled message that God is God, and we are not. Walk with our guides, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, John the Baptist and the Prophet Isaiah who arise from the pages of The Gospel of Luke. Bring a candle to participate in the tradition of the Advent wreath and leave for home with resources to continue your pilgrimage toward Christ’s Birth.

Coffee, Cinnamon Rolls & Conversation begin at 8:30 am. This retreat is a wonderful opportunity to pass Advent traditions down to the next generation. Pray about attending with a teen and receive a special price of $50 for an Adult/Teen pairing.