Advent season reminds me of a personal new beginning. Thirteen years ago I finished my theological education in Germany and during Advent moved to Quiggleville, where I started parish ministry, my first call to St. Michael's. One year later I was ordained to the ministry of word and sacrament, five years later the United States government issued an adjustment of status and I became an immigrant.
I remember my early years in America as a lot of "firsts." The first worship service (the Christmas tree tipped over and fell on me), the first funeral service (I didn't know how cold cemeteries could be in the winter), the first council meeting (I didn't understand half of it). There were new experiences with campus ministry at Pennsylvania College of Technology and at Mansfield University. And there were new experiences as interim pastor in Liberty and in the Northern Tier.
Next year I will return to Germany. I am looking forward to being closer to family. And I am looking forward to serving a congregation in Tribsees, which is in the Northeastern part of Germany. St. Thomas is about 700 years old and is the only church in that medieval town of 2,500. And there I am sure will be a lot of "firsts" again. Even though I may return, in many aspects it again will be a new beginning.
During Advent season we all are invited to prepare for a new beginning with Christ, and then journey with Him through the year and though our life. New beginnings come with hope as well as with fear, with excitement as well as with nervousness, with a longing for peace and quietness as well as with a longing for change to happen.
This Advent season we are looking forward to the coming of Christ, born on Christmas Eve as well as for his coming at the end of time. And all these feelings of hope and fear, excitement and nervousness, longing for peace and longing for something to change, all that is celebrated in this season.
And that is what I wish for you, that you may have in your life something to hope for and something to be nervous about; that you may have peace and quietness and that you at the same time may be God's agent of change in a challenging world.
Have a blessed Advent season!
May the peace of the Lord be with you always!
- Huckfeldt is the pastor at St. Michael Lutheran Church in Quiggleville.