Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God,
the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ
with righteous deeds at his coming,
so that, gathered at his right hand,
[we] may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom.
~ Collect, first Sunday of Advent
I am at the beach this week, enjoying a few days alone with my spouse at the end of his academic semester. We began this winter tradition six years ago as a creative replacement for our anniversary, a feast that never seemed to materialize since the actual date falls between Christmas and New Year’s.
Although the specific week that we come to North Padre Island varies year to year, I am struck by how it has become a central element of our Advent preparation.
Not only do we enjoy long walks on the cool sand together, but as only God’s vision could foresee it, the act of getting away makes us stop, slow down, and pay attention to the meaning of this beginning of a new Church year in our lives.
On the drive south from Oklahoma, I became spellbound by our Texas sunset, and as you can see below, I enjoyed taking pictures of the sky with my iPhone as the light and colors progressed on the horizon: