I zipped up the garment bag that held my robe and stoles. The vow exchange service was the last time I would be wearing my robe for at least two months. I was 39 and a half weeks pregnant, and had already arranged for pulpit supply to start on the following Sunday just three Sundays before Advent would begin.
I was thankful to have been able to lead our celebration of All Saints Day and to preach before heading into week 39 because having not grown up in a liturgical church, I valued and looked forward to high, holy days. This is why zipping that garment bag was proving to be so difficult. I had walked with my congregation during the ordinary times during my second and third trimester and now I was going to have to abandon them right when we got to the good stuff.
There was only one reason I would step back and let others step in the pulpit during the high, holy season of Advent and that’s for a high, holy life moment. As ministers, way too often, we abandon family and ourselves in the most important moments because of our calling to lead and guide God’s people. Being a female minister, giving birth kinda requires that I be present, and I was so thankful there was no way I was going to wiggle out of the responsibility of caring for this new life.
It doesn’t mean that I am missing Advent. In fact, this Advent there is still a lot of waiting. Waiting for the next feeding. Waiting for his eyes to slowly close and his breath to become steady. Waiting for my body to readjust after nine months of supporting another life.
This is holy work, too.
This is worship, too.
This is Advent, too.