Weekly thoughts from the Rector of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, where these words remind us that Jesus’ peace goes with us into the world.
Today is Serve Sunday! At the end of our liturgies this morning, we will be commissioned and sent out into the surrounding community as teams, not only to serve our neighbors but also to listen to them. There will even be opportunities between the 9:00 & 11:00 a.m. Choral Eucharists to serve right here on Palmer’s campus, including kid-friendly ones that families can do together. It’s an invitation to be the church in the world around us. After all, this place is not a destination in a life of faith but a starting point as we are sent out in the name of Christ.
This holy season of Advent during the weeks before Christmas is a time of waiting. But it’s not a passive time, as though we are merely staring at the wall clock in a waiting room before a doctor’s appointment. It’s a time to be alert and to watch with joyful expectation for the coming of the Lord. We can do that in the places where we live and work and go to school, and throughout the surrounding neighborhoods as we reach out to people in need of a helping hand or a human connection.
While Advent becomes brighter with each newly lit candle on the Advent wreath as we draw closer to Christmas Day, remember that Advent begins in the dark. So look for the Lord to appear in the shadows, wherever uncertainty and anxiety and fear reign over the landscape of the human heart.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus, and dispel our night!
— The Rev. Neil Alan Willard, Rector