Dear all,

As it turns out, my first-day-of Advent blog is a first-day-0f Advent column!

Click the link to read my entire Argus Leader column about Matthew, being Left Behind (or taken), good Lutheran theology, the obvious, and hear of Advent’s beckon to you.

“Advent asks us whether we will steward who we are for the well-being of ourselves, for others whom we know and whom we love, and for those whom we do not know or may not even like, and for and in the name of God.
Advent asks us whether we want to look at the truth of the ambiguity of life with anxious or hopeful hearts.
Advent asks us whether we want to hide or thrive.
Advent asks us whether we want to hoard our lives, devour others for our own needs, or offer who we are, expand our world vision, admit our finitude, belong to the vulnerability of shared purpose and life.
Advent asks us of what we are afraid, and whether it deserves our fear, and whether we will submit to it, and how we could find peace as an answer to the threat of tumult.
And Advent points to where to find the courage to live into the fray, the unpredictability, the messiness of life.
For although Advent announces the promise of God’s judgment, it is a promise of judgment that promises two things: healing and restoration to community and to God. It’s why the hymn writer of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” was bold enough to invite the Lord back: Death does not have the last word.
And so the composer of this Advent tune sings out, Come ransom us, come embrace us, come free us, come make us safe, come disperse the clouds, come refresh the hearts, come restore the broken.”

Advent’s blessings to you!