Here in Kingston it is a beautiful snowy winter day. We have procured a mini shovel with which to greet our one year old grandson when he arrives next week – he has work to do!
It is a season when we can be overwhelmed by all the work that is ours. It is not just the shovelling or the preparations for the gatherings of friends and family that can fill these weeks. We are all aware also of the work that is ours as neighbours and global citizens – from advocating for the unhoused in these winter days when the city shelters are full, to exploring ways we can encourage a transition into a culture and an economy that will respect this world sufficiently to leave it intact for the next generation (and to the glory of God). It can be overwhelming.
It is exactly at a time like this that Christian faith comes to the fore. Many of us in the Presbyterian Church in Canada are joining together in reading daily devotions by Walter Bruggemann, ‘Celebrating Abundance’. The emphasis is on rejecting the contemporary emphasis on ‘scarcity’ and living into the ‘abundance’ of God’s promises and provision for us and for all. As I turned the pages this past week, I thought about how Bruggemann once said to a group of ministers … ‘Few of our people imagine God to be an active character in the story of their lives’.
We may believe in God, but we treat God as somewhat detached and passive, involved perhaps just at the end of lives, on the periphery between this world and another. Generations of God’s people before us have thought of God very differently. They declared that God does things, that God is constantly at work among us, for good …
This sense of wonder and joy that God is at work is what Mary and Elizabeth share when they meet. Mary makes clear that it is not just the child growing in her womb that God is working, but a new humanity and new world through that child/Christ. We can hear her she sing to this day … ‘God has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts and put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of low degree. God has filled the hungry will good things and the rich God has sent empty away’ (Luke 1:46-55) and so much more. God is at work, and in that work of God we find assurance and strength … to work with God.
That big shovel belongs to God. That little shovel is mine and ours.
If you are in the area, we warmly invite you to join the worship of God. Certified child care is offered during the service and there is free parking on the streets around (please note that the time-of-day restrictions on Clergy Street north of Queen are not in effect on Sundays) and in the surface civic lot just behind the church off Queen Street.
Have a look at the Order of Service and bulletin below, and consider each hymn and prayer and announcement a personal invitation to join us in Christian worship, community and service. If you have any questions about forthcoming events and opportunities, please call the church office Tuesday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – noon, 613-546-6316, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us next Sunday as we continue our journey to Christmas and light the third candle of Advent during a service of Lessons and Carols led by the choir of St. Andrew’s.