Historically, Advent has been a season where the church looks forward, with longing, to the second coming of Christ. Advent kicks off the church year with sober reflection about the ache of waiting that, by God’s grace, gives way to Christmas joy.
At Providence, we hold an annual Advent feast during which we remember the different exiles of God’s people in history; the garden, the wilderness, Assyria, Babylon and beyond. Food played a major role in each of these exiles; forbidden fruit in the Garden, complaints about leeks in the wilderness, meat sacrificed to idols on the high places. Not only was it a cause, but food was also part of the curse of exile. While banished, Israel would be forced to eat that which was unappealing and, at times, unclean. Food was not only cause and curse, but it was also held out as part of the reward of return. God promised His displaced people that when exile ended, feasting would begin. At our Advent feast, each stop includes a reading, a response, a hymn and a course of the meal corresponding with one of the exiles in Scripture. This format will repeat itself until the 5th stop, where we will hear of the birth of the Savior. We will celebrate this good news by popping the corks on the bubbly and partaking of only fattening things. We will close with a toast and full-throated rendition of Joy to the World as we celebrate our Lord’s first coming and the sure hope of His second coming.
This year’s feast will be held this Sunday, December 19th, at the Fork and Plow Lavender Farm. Please join for this time of contemplation and celebration.