Colleges and universities operate on academic calendars that order the life of the campus. The Church, too, has its own calendar, its own way of organizing time around the stories of Scripture. There are holy days and seasons, times of remembering and celebrating, days of feasting or fasting and repenting. Each of these days and seasons helps us tell the story of God so that we may learn to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength. The Church’s calendar begins with the season of Advent, a season framed by joy, peace, love, and hope. The word Advent means ‘coming near’ or ‘arriving’ and the season invites us to remember how God came near to us in Jesus Christ – is with us now – and will come again establishing fully the peace that is already here but not yet in its fullness.
Can you imagine a world at peace? Of a world where peace is lived and sought and embraced? Where love leads and fear is no more? It is often difficult to imagine a world so different from the one we experience now, yet this is the vision of what it is to live under the reign of God who loves us. Yes, God is faithful! Therefore, as the hymn proclaims, “a weary world rejoices for ‘yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” While we hope and rejoice, while we wait expectantly, we continue to work for peace, healing, justice, and love.
On behalf of Methodist University Religious Life and with deep gratitude for all who have contributed to this project, I am pleased to present Counting the Days. The series of Advent reflections begins Sunday, December 3 and continues through December 24. May these reflections strengthen and inspire us throughout this season and beyond for the work to which we are called.
I wish you peace this holiday.
Rev. Kelli W. Taylor