We seem to be firmly locked into winter here. Snow has fallen with regularity and although there have been chinooks, the snow remains on the ground.
Last week there was a large snowfall. Traffic ground to a standstill. Buses were delayed hours. People tell horror stories about taking a half hour or longer to drive one city block. Ah, winter.
Those stories came from Friday. On Sunday I was meant to go to the little church in the country to conduct worship. The route involved mostly secondary highways. The drive takes an hour and a half. The highway map, reported them to be snow covered. The weather report indicated there would be winds creating a wind chill of 40 below.
I went anyway.
The drive was beautiful. The roads were clear. The sun was shining and the snow sparkled and danced as it reflected the rays of light. The ditches were full of beautifully sculpted drifts. Choral Concert was playing on the radio.
For me, that drive was a meditative time in which I felt close to God, filled with his mission and purpose and oh so joyously alive in him.
As I drove I reflected on the joy I have in worship. I know that I am blessed to be able to worship with a congregation where the fellowship, the music and the preaching combine to make God’s presence real and vital, but in truth, I still miss conducting worship. Maybe that’s what was behind the decision to still venture out, or maybe it was knowing that the little congregation would be as much a blessing to me as I prayed that I would be to them.
And so I drove on, thanking God for all the ways he filled my life with the blessing of meaningful worship. I thanked God for the ways in which he was filling my life with meaningful and purposeful kingdom work. (More about that another day).
For me though, that journey last Sunday was the perfect beginning to Advent, where we take risk and embark on a journey that leads us to the discovery of the blessing of God. I was reminded that Advent isn’t the destination, Advent is the journey. The road may occasionally be difficult, but always there will be the beauty, the joy and the blessing of God and at the end, the revelation that God has prepared for us.
Let us all remember to have a meaningful Advent. Let us all remember to look for God’s hand in the unfolding of our days. Let us all trust God to take us on the journey. Then, at the journey’s end, let us come together in worship and praise God whose goodness knows no end.
May hope, peace, joy and love be the companions on your journey through a meaningful Advent.