Preparations have begun in earnest here at the Cathedral for the Season of Advent.

In the Christian tradition, Advent is a time of spiritual preparation (or perhaps personal rejuvenation) before we celebrate the birth of Christ. In its liturgy, the Church will invite us to listen to the great Hebrew prophets, especially Isaiah, who summon us even today to renewal and hope - our Savior is coming. In the midst of our whirlwind Christmas preparations, it may be good to slow down, at least periodically during the month of December, to breathe in the spirit of peace and hope promised with the coming of the Messiah. Can God bring us peace and hope?

A spiritual writer has described God by describing the nature of things we know and experience. Rain falls gently upon the earth, but every drop "falls gently upon the earth. and helps every living creature. The sun shines on us all, with no distinctions, no favoritism, no discrimination. It makes things grow and lifts our spirits. The wind is invisible but powerful, creating energy and pointing us in the right direction. Likewise, God is gentle, has no favorites and is invisible, but powerful.

Perhaps the knowledge that God is near, even when not seen, can give our frantic pace during the holiday season, some quiet serenity and hope that God will see us through.