Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has joined Canadian bishops in writing reflections for Advent.
Writing on the assigned readings of Isaiah 40:1-11 2 Peter 3:8-15a Mark 1:1-8, she sees calls to patience and peace.
“Patience comes from a root that means to suffer or endure,” the presiding bishop writes. “It can be painful to wait, especially if we are eager for the birth of a child, anxious to have an onerous task completed, or a wound healed. The deeper origin of the word lies in a root that means to hurt, injure, blame, revile, or damage — the word fiend comes from the same root. In some deep sense, patience is the virtue needed in the face of the fiendish and whatever is hostile to life.”
The Anglican Church of Canada provides this background report about the reflections:
Seeds, song, patience, justice — these are some of the images invoked in a series of Advent reflections offered by the leaders of the four Anglican and Lutheran churches in full communion in Canada and the United States: Archbishop Fred Hiltz (Anglican Church of Canada), National Bishop Susan Johnson (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada), Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (Episcopal Church), and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America).
These Advent reflections represent a modest but visible sign of what our churches can do together rather than separately. Through them our prayers will be united across international and denominational boundaries. They are offered in the same spirit as a series of Epiphany devotions produced for 2013 by members of the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission in Canada and the Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee in the United States.
Congregations are invited to download and reproduce these reflections for use as bulletin inserts during each of the four Sundays of Advent, or to otherwise make them available to their members.
Image: Adventný veniec II by Bubamara (own work). Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons