Grace Notes in the Desert

Grace Notes in the Desert is written for the saints of Rio Grande Presbyterian Church and the surrounding community.

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Grace Notes acknowledges we need God's grace and forgivness as much as the desert water.


A Season of Waiting

Advent, from the Latin root, advenire, means 'to come'. Advent, for the Church, means 'to await Christ's coming'; and begins this year the last Sunday of November, November 29.

It marks what the Church calls the change from 'Ordinary' to 'Holy' Time; as we prepare for the wonder and the mystery of God's Incarnation during the four Sundays prior to Christmas.

It is the royal season of God's coming reign (which is why the colors in the church change from green, symbolizing 'Ordinary Time' to purple, symbolizing royalty and God's 'Holy (extrordinary) Time'. Some churches skip the season of Advent altogether, preferring to sing Christmas Carols every Sunday, as if there were no waiting period and no need for a season of preparation for the One who's coming changes everything.

Not so, at Rio Grande. Here, we recognize Advent as a season of preparation to renew our faith and rededicate our lives to the One whose coming we anticipate and who is worthy of our adoration (which is why we don't hear Christmas carols proper until Christ's birth on Christmas Eve). John the Baptist, like other prophets before him, put the season of Advent this way: "Prepare the way of the Lord/Make God's paths straight."

I hope Advent will be that kind of season for you and for me; and I hope, together, and individually, we will take time to discern what God is calling us to do and be as we celebrate, anew, the coming of the Savior of the world.

Yours in His Service,
A Pastor in the Desert