Second Week of Advent
By Tina Sibbald
For the first time in many years, I’m not dreading this season. But then, for the first time in years, my focus has changed. In reading the scriptures for the second Sunday of Advent, I found myself getting caught up in a completely different kind of anticipation — perhaps even a little excitement in this first Christmas since rededicating my life to God.
From the joy and laughter in the Psalms, to God’s promise of mercy and righteousness in Baruch, I’m beginning to let go of the world’s expectations around spending and consumption, and concentrating instead on the imminent incarnation of God in human form, or as Luke says: “and all flesh shall see the salvation of God”.
But Paul’s letter to the Philippians struck a particular chord. In verse 5, we find the Greek word koinonia. I remember attending church in the 70’s when this was the “in” word for Christians. Koinonia, roughly translated means “sharing something in common” and the more I study it, the more I think it’s time for the fashionable use of this word to come full circle and be in our consciousness again. It speaks of sharing and generosity. It speaks of a community of purpose. It speaks of the Eucharist. We the Church, specifically the people who make up St. Basil’s Parish, share a strong common interest in preparing the way for God’s arrival by serving those who are ill, poor, lonely, in need, and feeling unloved — sharing with them hope, mercy, and salvation.
I’m no scholar – just a person who still has a lot to learn. But for me, Koinonia embraces a number of related concepts far beyond the capacity of our language, and this will captivate my imagination throughout the Christmas season. I challenge everyone to join me in allowing the calls to action from our social justice ministries to speak to your hearts and prompt you to respond as God leads. Unfortunately for me, this will not preclude a trip to the mall, but it sure will put the mall in its right place at the lower end of my priority list.