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Welcome to Advent

The Season of Approaches

We know that there are three comings of the Lord. In his first coming our Lord came in our flesh and in our weakness; [as] our redemption; in this middle coming he comes in spirit and in power; [as] our rest and consolation. In the final coming he will be seen in glory and majesty; [as] our Life.
~St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Advent has historically been observed as a kind of mini-Lent, a time of penitent preparation for the annual celebration of Christmas.  Beginning in the 20th Century the Church grew to understand that Advent is more appropriately a season of hopeful anticipation or expectancy in which the lives of our families are brought alongside the lives of the expectant, Mary, and her husband, Joseph.


But Advent is richer than that.  It is only the last Sunday of Advent when the Gospel reading refers to Mary, and sometimes, Joseph. Perhaps we like to keep Advent as solely a preparation for Christmas because it makes it easier for us to develop and routinize family and church traditions.

 

The fullness of Advent, however, prepares us both to receive the Christ Child and to attend to the approach of the Lord into our hearts and into the brokenness of our present reality.  For the Risen Christ is more than a person who was in

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history,  Christ is the God who lives today, and whose grace refreshes the “resurrection life” in us.

Advent also quickens our spirits to anticipate Christ’s return at the end of all history, the Second Coming. For it is Christ’s final coming that serves as the foundation for our Christian hope - that great gift and virtue that causes us “to live with confidence in newness and fullness of life and to await the coming of Christ in glory, and the completion of God’s purpose for the world.”   

 

May this Advent be for us a season of hopeful expectancy in which we gladly look for and welcome these three approaches of Christ. 

 

The Peace and Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

Michael+

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Sunday Service | Fr. Doyt Conn

On Sunday November 20, 2022, Fr. Doyt Conn from

The Church of the Epiphany in Seattle, WA presided and preached at St. John's Eucharist service. Below is an excerpt from the service - Fr. Doyt's Gospel reading and Sermon.