November 30: Soul
November 30 - #AdventWord #Soul
Well, I guess we can’t mention “souls” in the Episcopal Church without trotting out the old adage, attributed to C. S. Lewis, “You do not have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” It’s obviously the thing to do, even if no one is quite sure whether he actually said it, or not. But, nothing is more universal than death, and it is understandable that this quotation was, and is, widespread because people want to be assured of their future. We must be mindful, however, that we are embodied creatures with the promise of an embodied resurrection. Jesus incarnated in a body and resurrected with a body, so let us be careful about minimizing our own. I find this as both a call for us to take care of our mortal bodies in this life, but also to look with hope, for you are a body. But, you’re a soul too. And our human flourishing is contingent upon being soul-bodied things.
—The Very Rev. Wil Keith, rector of Holy Cross Faith Memorial Episcopal Church, Pawleys Island, and a member of Diocesan Council
November 29: Strength
The word "strength" tends to convey the idea of an ability to bend things to our own will—as in, it takes strength to lift heavy objects that otherwise would not budge. And usually the words “strength” and “power” go hand in hand—as in, the powerful use their strength to gain advantage over others. But God’s strength is different. In the Magnificat, Mary celebrates God’s strength as a strength that lifts up the lowly and fills the hungry with good things. God’s strength does not seek its own advantage but instead seeks the advantage of those whom the world discounts as weak. May we cultivate such strength as we make our way to Bethlehem’s manger.
—The Rev. Rob Donehue, rector of St. Anne’s, Conway, who also currently serves as president of the Standing Committee
November 28: Promise
Today, while I was walking by the edge of the sea, I encountered a woman whose belly was ripe, taut with life waiting to be born. I greeted her; her response was so warm, so full of a certain kind of anticipation. Promise—the root meaning is to send forward. An expectant mother’s belly, a baby’s first cry, one star in the night sky—harbingers of newness, giving us hope that at the core of what has grown old, been cast down, been felled to the stump lies the seed of new life, waiting to be sent forward into a world longing, always, to begin again. Come Lord Jesus, Come.
– The Rt. Reverend Ruth Woodliff-Stanley, Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina
As part of this effort to create a global, online advent calendar -- led by Forward Movement -- we will share a new word each day from November 28-December 25, 2021, with meditations from people around the diocese. Each day, the meditation will be accompanied by an image relating to the word of the day as well.