December 22, 2019: The Already Not Yet of Advent by Linda Mahler

by Linda Mahler

The season of Advent is a tension of two opposites for me. It is a time of anticipating the coming of God among us, and yet, throughout the season, we celebrate the Eucharist—the sacrament of our union with the risen Christ. How real the waiting is, and how present God is in our lives. Jesus already here and not yet.

When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for Christmas. From Thanksgiving on, I wanted Christmas to be tomorrow, but it never did come before December 25th, no matter how much I wished it would. Now that I am a Christian, Advent reminds me how important it is to allow things to develop and mature. Events happen according to God’s time, not human time.

Today I find myself in a state of great anticipation, just like those long-ago days when I was a child awaiting Christmas. As many of you know, I am in the process of becoming a deacon in the Episcopal church. My journey to the diaconate began in 2016. Four parishioners here at All Souls guided me through a year of discernment, exploring whether I really am called to be a deacon. With the full support of the All Souls community, I moved on to become a postulant. I have spent two years studying everything from theology to church history and holy scripture, working with a local non-profit, and attending “deacon school.” Two months ago, I once again moved forward in the formation process to become a candidate. The closer I get to ordination in September 2020, the more I long for the time to pass quickly, but there is wisdom in the formation process.

At the end of December, I will be taking my leave of this church community that taught me how to be a Christian, witnessed my baptism and my marriage, and has faithfully loved and nurtured me. For six months I will be doing a diaconal apprenticeship at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Silver Spring. The deacon there will take me under her wing and show me first-hand how she lives into her diaconal ministry.

As I prepare to take this next step, Father Jadon has graciously offered me the opportunity to deliver the homily and adult forum next Sunday, on the 29th of December. I do so with love in my heart and profound gratitude for the many gifts I have received from all of you. May God truly bless you, this Christmas and always.

Last Published: December 19, 2019 2:42 PM
Empowered by Extend, a church software solution from