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I’m sure there is a wondering about my whereabouts in the minds of some readers of this blog, just as I am wondering how an entire week has passed since I wrote! Time and events have a way of interrupting the flow of “regular schedule” and rarely has that been clearer to me than in the past two weeks. Flying across the country – back from California to Boston – called for adjustment in the “loss” of three hours to my body clock. Two days of weather delay in driving the last leg of the journey – from Boston to my home in small-town New York State – pushed me further away from routine and caused a major shift in my calendar. (I check it at least five times a day to make sure I haven’t missed anything.)

Today is not only a new day but the Winter Solstice, announcing in my neighborhood what we have experienced in the weather already: cold and snow and the shift to the interiority that comes from bundling up and staying inside as much as possible. For me it means unpacking my suitcase, cleaning out my car, clearing e-mails, scheduling appointments and making phone calls – all in the service of readying myself for the great celebration of the Incarnation and hope of new birth.

Today’s lectionary readings are replete with messages that prepare us. Hark! my lover – here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills…Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love…O Emmanuel, come to save us, Lord our God!

Three days more. Are you ready?