Advent Word 2019, Day 1 ‘Unexpected’

Happy Advent Sunday to you all ~ Advent Word Global Advent Calendar 2019 starts today!

Advent is a busy time. Lots of events going on, and lots of preparations getting ready for Christmas, so it’s good to stop a little and take some time for meditation on the real meaning of Advent. For the past few years, I’ve taken part in the AdventWord project of the Episcopal Church, and this year too. It’s run by Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) – they invite different people to share a short meditation on a theme word. I will post those meditations and share my own photo linking to that theme word, known as the #AdventWord. This year, VTS are posting in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole, apparently those are the 3 official languages of the Episcopal Church – but there’s no Chinese, sorry about that. So I will post the English meditation, one a day on here, also on Facebook and Instagram. For further info, check out the AdventWord website here. You can sign up yourself to take part. It’s creative – and it’s fun! The photos I post with the meditations are all ones I took at cathedrals while I was in the UK last year and early this year. You can use your own imagination as to why I might have chosen each particular photo.

Today’s AdventWord is UNEXPECTED. The photo was taken in the Lady Chapel at Ely Cathedral.


“The Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” Advent reminds us that accountability (this is what the second coming represents) will be unexpected. It might be the cosmic intervention or it might just be the passing from this life into the next. Either way, the point is simple: Life is precious and short. Are we using the gift of time well? We should treat every second as an opportunity to grow, to forgive, to support someone in need, and to love.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, PhD, is the Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary.

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