I have been spending most of this season of Advent looking for a new home.
As my time as rector of St. Mary’s has come to an end, the Rectory needs to be readied for someone new. In this time of transition, I have generously and graciously been allowed to live in the Rectory. But I know that it is quickly becoming no longer my home.
Since my new office will be downtown, I’ve been searching with my realtor for a place closer into town. I have been surprised how exhausting it’s been–not the Sabbath I expected December to be. You see, the story I’d made up in my head was that God had a fabulous new place already prepared for me (which I still believe is true) and that the process would go much more quickly and easily. Now why in the world did I think this pilgrimage would be different than all of the others of my life?
My new job with the Diocese will be ever so much more different than being a rector of a parish. I’m imagining the kind of home that will fit my new way of life. I first had to decide whether to rent or buy. Since I’ve been in packing and moving mode for the last two years, I’m ready to pack one last time and unpack for a good long while. I’m going to buy and abide.
Part of the challenge of becoming set on my new home is that I’ve spent the last two years reimagining the Rectory and that house, after two renovations in two years, thanks to flood water, is as close to perfect, for me, as any place I’ve ever lived. Oh yes. Except that it is prone to flooding.
I’ve had to decide what is essential in my new home, and what I can do without. As I’ve driven from place to place, walked up and down stairs and opened doors, this has changed.
I’m also aware that any change involves grief. It also involves trust.
And so I’ll sing the O Antiphon for this 19th day of December:
O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
Today I’ll rejoice that I have a home.
Today I’ll rejoice that I have the resources (money, friends, wise counselors) to find a new home.
I’ll remember what Immanuel means…God is with us.
I’ll remember what Israel means…..God prevails.
Gracious! Holy Immanuel and Holy Israel. The Advent unexpected pilgrimage continues. God with. God prevailing.