WS Update: Advent Wonder

December 12, 2022

Yesterday we had our annual Lessons & Carols service (access the sermon here) during which we listened to and sang a familiar story. Each year I’m struck by just how strange the story is and how I can mindlessly sing the carols or hear the words about an eternal God who took on our finite flesh; or how angels and shepherds sang together; or that it was all predicted hundreds of years earlier by a prophet named Isaiah. Yet we long for and need this story for it gives us hope and bursts the banks of our imaginations in ways that rehumanize us. Eugene Peterson puts it this way:

Wonder is the only adequate launching pad for exploring (the) fullness … of human life. Once a year, each Christmas, for a few days at least, we and millions of our neighbors turn aside from our preoccupations with life reduced to biology or economics or psychology and join together in a community of wonder (which) keeps us … alive to life that is always more than we can account for, that always exceeds our calculations, that is always beyond anything we can make.

So as the busyness of this season ramps up, find time to quiet your heart and mind by reflecting on the text below and once again be enthralled by both this marvel of nature and wonder of grace.

Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat

46 And Mary said,
    “My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

– Luke 1:46-55

Enjoy a Evening of Chamber Music

This concert will feature Musicians from the New York Philharmonic with pianist Eileen Buck performing Works by Martinů, Shostakovich and Schumann. The evening will be followed by a wine and cheese reception in the W83 gallery.

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