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From Generation to Generation...

From Generation to Generation...

by Shelley Walters on November 21, 2023

From Generation to Generation...

"Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation."
~ Luke 1:48b-50

As we give thanks this week, we also turn to a new season and a new church year. Advent begins this week at Saint John’s a little earlier than the official calendar since Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year.

As soon as the dishes are put away Thursday, I plan to get out our Christmas decorations. Among them is an angel that sat atop my grandmother’s tree for decades. The angel’s skirt fabric is torn, and her wire is bent, but she remains one of my favorites. She holds stories of family Christmases before me.

Our Christmas season is filled with stories, scriptures, and traditions that have been passed down to us throughout the generations. Many of us enter this season with a swell of memories and emotions as vast as the cultural and religious rituals this holiday holds. Like a tapestry woven throughout time, the Christmas story weaves us in — to remember how God has shown up in the past, to continue the work of collective liberation, to behold the presence of God in flesh and bone.

The scripture above – a line from Mary’s song of protest and praise – inspired our Advent focus this year: “From Generation to Generation....”

Despite the challenges and vulnerability she faced, Mary could glimpse the scale and scope of the good news she was part of bringing forth. This good news transcends time and space — it was, and is, bigger than just her. Christ is coming for collective liberation: God’s redemption is at work for years to come. Therefore, the promise is meant to be lived out and passed on from generation to generation.

The root word of “generation” is “gen” meaning “origin” or “birth.” Our Advent season brings a call to action: What are we being called to generate or bring forth? What have your ancestors and those who have come before you passed on for you to continue? Who are the spiritual elders in your community who planted the seeds for the things that are now blooming? What seeds are you planting for the future?

We hope that you will join us as we delve into these questions, as we look back and forward, together. To view our entire Advent schedule at Saint John’s, visit stjohnsaustin.org/advent.

"From Generation to Generation..." reminds us of the ways our lives, histories, actions, and stories are interconnected and woven together. The work of God is always unfolding — in and through us. This Advent, may you remember that you belong — to a story etched into the wrinkles of time, to generations that have come before and will come after, to a love that won’t let you go.

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