Where Do You See Yourself in the Stories of Advent?

Do the stories we read at Advent seem archaic? Set in a world totally unfamiliar to us today— without smartphones, email, and Amazon Prime, it is difficult to connect these stories to our own experiences. Or perhaps the storys’ of familiarity lulls us into a false sense of what the stories mean for us today. This year, I invite us to come to find ourselves in these stories. Let us use our imaginations to explore what it was like to live, work, and worship in ancient Palestine. What would these stories look like today? Do you recognize yourself in the story of a childless couple anticipating a significant life change? Are you a messenger who brings life-changing news? Do you see yourself in a young woman in a vulnerable situation where she might be rejected for her faith? Or are you a bystander looking on as others face challenging situations and you are not sure how to help or do not have room to welcome them?

I am encouraged by the method of St. Ignatius of Loyola of praying with the Scripture. This method engages all of our senses and our imagination to immerse us in the text. For the season of Advent the community’s Advent Devotional and sermons will focus on the stories of Elizabeth, Zechariah, Gabriel, and Mary from Luke 1: 26-66. Read along each week using the text selections in the e-news. After reading a passage, take some time to sit and imagine yourself as one of the characters in the story. See, hear, smell, and touch each movement of the story. As you experience each scene, take note of how you respond to the story on a gut level and consider what it might mean for you as you prepare for Christmas.

I would love to hear about your reflections in whatever form they take; be it art, poetry,  or just a quick email. Please share those with me at ally@knoxpasadena.org.

May our reflections draw us deeper into these stories of Advent so that we see ourselves and Christ anew this season.

Pastor Ally







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