As we begin the Advent season and the start of a new liturgical year, I find myself frustrated and resonating with the “now and not yet” feeling of the season. We now have a vaccine. We’re able to travel, to see friends, to gather with family. And yet. And yet, we struggle with what to do about young kids and unvaccinated relatives, COVID scares, and mask mandates. We anxiously gather for long awaited outside rituals like Thanksgiving parades and tree lighting ceremonies, and still have to discern IF it’s safe to prepare for indoor worship and liturgical traditions as new variants and spikes loom on the horizon.
It’s exhausting, especially if you’re the parent of young children or living in an area with loose precaution practices, because it can feel like so many have moved on with “normal life” while you are still stuck in the anxiety of it all. The push and pull. The thousands still dying. The variants in the headlines. I’ve had enough.
As one writer in the NY Times put it, many of us have taken to using the vague, yet all-encompassing phrase “it’s a lot” to explain how we’ve been feeling lately. It explains what’s happening without going into detail; it’s nonspecific yet legible to, well, everyone.
This weekend, as we enter into yet another pandemic-lingering Advent, as a leader I am contemplating just what it means to lean into the “now and not yet” of the season.
In this season, we remember the many centuries that the people of God have waited for the long-prophesied Messiah who eventually arrived through the birth of Jesus. During this season, we practice patience and waiting, things I am finding especially challenging this year. All around us people are waiting. Waiting for justice. Waiting for freedom. Waiting for redemption. Waiting for love.
In these short winter days when it all feels like too much, I take comfort in the community of fellow leaders that I can turn to when I need to wrestle out my own spirituality, my own longing and grief. In this season of Advent, maybe you too find yourself in need of that support. Launchpad is here for you. In this season and in the next. We know what it means to find renewal within community. We remember the joy that can come in wrestling through the tension together, and we invite you to feel it with us.
If you’re in need of some support as a leader during this season, consider joining us for our next “Networking and Support Hours” on December 9th at 1pm EST.
You can also check out some Advent resources that have inspired us in the past. If you know of any great resources that are bringing you hope this season, we’d love to hear about them. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to add to our list of Advent resources.
Recommended Resources for Advent:
- Salt Project – printable resources and videos for the whole family
- Sacred Ordinary Days – planners and more for the liturgical year
- Plural Guild – liturgies, songs, and more – also check out The Many’s playlist on Spotify
- The Calendar Years – songs for Advents
- Honest Advent – book by Scott Erikson
- The Book of Joy – a favorite interfaith read on joy and hope from the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
- A Mother Knows Her Child – Poetic Meditations on Mary from Linda Beatrice Brown