A humble and glorious beginning.

Advent very much reminds us of the humility and glory of Jesus. He is God become human, angels announce his birth and he is worshipped by kings… glory, glory, glory! And he is born in a stable, vulnerable and unwelcomed by most, in humble beginnings.  We mark both these aspects of Christ’s life and presence in this season as we approach the Feast of the Incarnation on Dec. 24th.

Humility and glory were both evident to me this past Sunday, our first worshipping as Church of the Cross. The humble beginning was most evident to me as I biked, along the 290 frontage road (!) at 7:30am, balancing a Starbucks traveler! Got to keep those early morning volunteers caffeinated. Nothing glamorous about this! It felt like a humble beginning as our early arrivals set out signs and children’s toys, prepared a makeshift altar and folded programs – making the Phillips Event Center our own and a place of worship for our great God. Humble, but joyful and generous, with kids playing and everyone cheerfully working. It does my soul good to be among such friends.

The glory came to me as we centered ourselves in worship upon the Triune God. With full voices amid a surprisingly more full room, we sang and prayed and met the living God at His table. The sense of God’s Spirit with us in worship and life together was glorious, in its own way, too. It was such fun to linger afterward, over coffee and Paco’s Tacos, with kids running amidst us, hearts full and expectant. As a priest it was gratifying to experience a “thickness” to our conversations even on this first day together in this setting, we are and are becoming the household of God. We had prayed for joy and energy for this day and experience them both in spades.

It was a really good start. There is much work to be done as we press into more fully being an embassy of the kingdom of God, especially pressing into mission in life together, but this was a really good start. May this Sunday and those to come truly be a fount, from which the blessing of God’s presence flows more richly into our lives, leading to humble service to our neighbors and city in the name of Christ and great glory for Him. Thanks be to God for our first Sunday together! 

Peter Coelho