There I was, yesterday, completely prepared for Advent.
So I went to bed. It took Marley a bit longer to settle in, since it was the first night with the down comforter. I do wonder if it drove her nuts sleeping with the feathers. But after some pouncing, she finally settled in, victory was hers, and she curled up for the night.
At 6 this morning, I heard some rustling. Then a light thump, followed by more rustling. You guessed it, Marley was ready to Matins. She had the stars out and was sorting through them, deciding who to pray for, no doubt. I politely told her it was a bit early....eventually she found her way back to her down throne.
Worship was an intense experience this morning. With an Affirmation of Baptism this morning, we had an extended family who was there most recently for a funeral. So, to see that family all together again gathered around the Word and the Meal was wonderful. The statement of faith that the young man shared was a wonderful expression of his faith journey, especially through the most recent ups and downs in life. The amazing gift of grace was seeing the young man's mom at worship with us. (Long story short - recent divorce, painful for all involved, dad & kids worship with us, mom is not a member, starting to see some healing as everyone moves forward.) To see everyone pass the peace and come forward to the table brought tears to many eyes, including my own. The reminder to me, that this is the table that accepts us, no matter what. This is the place where we can come broken, messed up, knowing that we may not have handled everything in life just right, but it doesn't matter here. This meal heals, fills, strengthens and helps us face the realities of living in a broken world.
Today we could see the brokenness but at the same time, the promise coming in the Christ child, that longing for healing and wholeness that is here...and is coming...thanks be to God.