This weekend I plan on baking my grandmother’s famous peanut butter blossom cookie recipe that I make every year. I love rolling the cookie dough balls in the crispy and sweet sugar, the smell of warm peanut butter in the air as they bake, and the satisfying dent I make as I press the Hershey’s kisses into their centers not long after being pulled from the oven. I love the consistency of them. These little morsels have been passed down and baked through holiday seasons of joy and seasons of uncertainty all my life and this year is no different. I have to say I feel an immense amount of gratitude that we have come a long way from the time I made 4 dozen of them alone during the height of the pandemic to return to a practice that felt familiar in a strange and new world. Now I’m looking forward to dancing around the kitchen with a friend or two as I package them up to be shared during the season of Advent, and perhaps at our cookie swap on December 18th too!
Can you believe Sunday November 27th is already the first Sunday of Advent? The time in the year when we watch and wait for Jesus, the son of God, Emmanuel, God-With-Us, to come into the world. Our worlds. This is the time for slowing down, for paying attention to the ways in which God is with us in our lives, and for wonder and awe in ordinary things. Perhaps this year is the first year you are coming back to traditions long held sacred in your family or at First Church. As we open our hearts to what this Advent might bring, I invite you to ask yourself what your soul is craving. Is it the smell of a freshly decorated evergreen? The sight of candles as the days get shorter and the nights get longer? The taste of that favorite recipe that a family member makes? The warmth of spending time with chosen and given family? Finally putting down that smartphone or email tab on your browser? Our capacity for wonder is experienced in our human bodies. Jesus had one too. How are you looking for wonder in every day this Advent season? Join us this Sunday to look, watch, and wait together as we enter into a time of wonder and behold what God is doing in our lives and in the world.