Preparation

<em>The Annunciation</em>, Henry Ossawa Tanner -- The Feast of the Annunciation is March 25

The Annunciation, Henry Ossawa Tanner -- The Feast of the Annunciation is March 25

As the fall semester here at the Seminary is winding down, and the feel of semester break – impending Christmas holiday – well-deserved vacation is in the air, the underlying dynamic of preparation becomes particularly noticeable.

It’s hard to keep something like “Spring” in focus with something like Christmas right on the doorstep.

And yet, most things take time, advance planning, to come to fruition. Most of the work for the J-term Artist-in-Residence program, which begins just a few weeks from now, was done several months ago. Various preparatory activities are still underway for the V-Week events of February 10-14, and the Katie Geneva Cannon Lecture at the end of March. Not too long from now, we will begin thinking about what long-term projects to address during the summer “slow” period, and the cycle will resume for predictable activities that start up in September.

Thinking about preparation seems appropriate as we look towards the 3rd Sunday in Advent, which according to my memory of a sermon or two once upon a time, is traditionally known as “Mary’s Sunday.”

Preparation is of the essence of advent, and of Advent — a season when the church, in its liturgical cycle, tries to remember that there are events that require lots of advance work, work that goes on and for that matter is now going on almost unnoticed — except, presumably, by those doing it.

Like God.

And tries to hear, once more, its call to be part of that work.

[Here is a “Brief Bio of Henry Ossawa Tanner”, who painted The Annunciation, imaged above, 1898, now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.]

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