From the Foreword
Advent is a season of expectation as Christians prepare to celebrate once again the coming of the Jesus. Advent is also a journey, with the hope that at the end of the journey, the Lord Jesus will be born anew in our hearts and we will have come a few steps closer to the Kingdom.
Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, causing an estimated $86 billion worth of damage and claiming the lives of nearly 2,000 people. The response of the church to the pain and suffering of the storm’s victims far exceeded what local residents and officials had expected. I was one of thousands of volunteers who went to the Gulf Coast to help alleviate the pain and suffering. Our experiences varied depending on age, skill, and the locations where we served. But we all stepped out in faith, with expectation and hope. And in some strange, almost miraculous way, Jesus was born anew in our hearts and we all drew closer to the kingdom.
The meditations in We Shall All Be Changed offer brief glimpses into twelve different mission trips to the Gulf Coast, over a five-year period. These trips were sponsored by the congregation where I serve, and I am deeply thankful for their support. I share these experiences with you in the hope that in your journey through Advent, you too might come a little closer to the kingdom.
If you are thinking that a hurricane and Advent having nothing in common, read no further. But remember that Irving Berlin wrote “White Christmas” in the summer of 1940 next to a swimming pool in Arizona.
The prayers at the conclusion of the Sunday meditations are the collects for the four Sundays of Advent from The Book of Common Prayer. The final collect is for Christmas. The scripture passages at the end of the other meditations are taken from the text of Messiah, by George Friederich Handel, a seasonal favorite.