The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

First Sunday in Advent

Happy Advent, my friends! Sufjan Stevens does a beautiful rendition of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," my favorite Advent carol. His entire Christmas album is perfection.

Advent is the season leading up to Christmas, where we anticipate the coming of the Christ child. It's the beginning of the church year, technically, [it's where the lectionary restarts with the preparation for Jesus' birth] so Happy New Year! Advent is a contemplative time, [though not dreary like Lent] and full of beautiful music and candles and evergreen garlands :). Each Sunday, we light a candle on a wreath -- the first three are blue, the fourth pink (for the Mother Mary) and the last one is bigger and white, for Christmas morning. It might be my favorite season of the church. What a nerd. 

Nerdy like me? Here's today's devotion from PLTS:

Isaiah 2:3b-5
O! God of prophets, give us ears to hear our prophets, ancient and now. Give us hearts to be more persistent than war. Amen.

So long ago, but so true now too. War then. War now. War until...when? And the prophet Isaiah tells his own people that “instruction and the word of the Lord” will go forth from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:3b). Instruction against war? Against hate? Against divisions? Against blindness to war, hate, divisions of all kinds? Are we to be God’s prophets, God’s Jerusalem, to take Isaiah’s words into our hearts, into our worship spaces, into the highways and byways?

Missionaries make me nervous.

Give thanks with a grateful heart; give thanks to the Holy One.