This year our congregation has taken our midweek Advent theme from the carol, "I Wonder as I Wander." Every week we will offer a reflection based one, "I wonder about...." This Wednesday, we will wonder about hope. Next Wednesday, we wonder about love, and for the third week, we will wonder about joy. (I know, there is a 4th Wednesday this year, but we will just have 3 advent services, as usual.)
During the days of Advent, I thought I would try to reflect, as much as possible, on the theme. I won't promise you every day (though I'd like to), but I will reflection on where I wandered on this Advent Day, and what I wondered about.
Today I wandered over to my mom's house, as I took vacation days over Thanksgiving. My mom and I went to her church together, St. Barnabas Lutheran in Plymouth. It's a great congregation.
I drove up the highway this morning, taking a much different route than usual on a Sunday morning. I am usually presiding or preaching right in my own neighborhood. But today I got out on the road, listening to the radio station that someone else had tuned in the other day.
There was Christmas music on, already. I am usually opposed to such things, but I kept the station on, and my eyes got blurry, a little, as I listened to a piece by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, based on Pachelbel's Canon. I remembered that my dad and I sang Christmas carols on Thanksgiving this year, because it seemed he knew the words to more Christmas carols than Thanksgiving hymns.
I enjoyed everything about the service this morning, singing with my mom (even with my stuffed-up nose), listening to the sermon, hearing the "witness moment", and how the choir came from the congregation to the choir loft as part of the offering, sang their piece, and returned to their seats.
After church my mom and I made lefse all afternoon. She had prepared it beforehand, so when I say that we "made lefse", she had done most of the work, although we worked as a team on the rolling and the flipping of the lefse. She could do it by herself, if she wanted to, but she'd rather have me there with her.
I wondered a little whether that is the way it is with God, as well. God has done most of the work, and, to be truthful, I suppose that God could do it all without our help, if God wanted to. But that's not what God wants. God wants us on the team, partners in doing justice, showing mercy, making the world more beautiful. It's not an imposition, it's a privilege, working side by side with God, helping people know Jesus, know God's love, believe they are God's children, and walk in that light. It's a privilege, not an imposition.
If I thought I had to make the lefse by myself, I would probably be depressed. If I thought I had to shine God's light in the world by myself, I would give up. But I don't. You don't.
And the best part? Somehow, the light shines in us.