Guest Blogger: Daniel Drew, Lakeside Chautauqua Board of Directors Member
24 “But in those days, following that distress,
“the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
25 the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”
26 “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” – Mark 13:24-27 (NIV)
As we began the Advent season this past Sunday, so we begin a new cycle in the church year.
Advent is a four-week preparation for the coming of Christ. Much more spiritual than all the preparations we make for the coming of Christmas, with all its festivities.
Advent asks us to think of the big picture of our life and the world. The “Son of Man,” with great power and glory, is coming to be with us; and he will gather his people together from everywhere on earth.
What will it take for us to prepare our hearts and lives to see and receive the “Son of Man” in his glory? How do we prepare humankind with all the wars, hatred and violence ever to come to a place where we can be together to experience the “Glory of God”? (Paraphrase of vs. 26 & 27)
I know that for me, it begins with some reflection, prayer and inner prospective of my life and world. This I do not get at the mall or in “public” places. I need some quiet time and a place for inner peace.
For me, most often in my life, that place is becoming known as Ohio’s Most Beautiful Mile. The walkway along Lake Erie and the dock at Lakeside have been that special place for me.
It began when I was in college, and we had a retreat at Lakeside. The most powerful and memorable moment was on the dock for late night prayers.
It has continued in my life for many years at our annual week of Conference at Lakeside. I have walked the lakefront pathway, while struggling with great problems and realities in my life.
Now, it continues as a cottage owner, coming regularly to Lakeside and walking that path as often as possible.
I think of it as “My Most Spiritual Mile.” I have seen from there the glory of God in the heavens, in the clouds and the wind and waves; in the stillness of moonlight. There, I have watched God’s creation, in nature and wildlife, and marveled at all that God created, which I cannot even comprehend.
My favorite time to spend at the lakefront is dawn; when a new day begins as the sun rises out of the water and God announces that all shall be well, as we have survived another dark night and a new day has begun.
Advent is the light at dawn; it announces that God is not done with us and a new day is coming. May we journey together towards the kingdom of light and hope.