Further up and further in

An Advent Invitation to Share

I have many wonderful memories of my dad.  He was born in 1918 and lived a hardscrabble life on a farm on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, at a time when outhouses and hand farming were the norm.  He was rural, Southern country-folk, but he loved wonderful things – art, literature, music – and was always aspiring to know more and learn more.  The same was true of his religion.

He was a staunch Methodist – a self-taught adult Christian education teacher – and at his beloved St.  John’s Methodist Church in Watertown, MA, led the adult Sunday morning Bible study for many years.  One thing my Dad’s church used to do at Advent (long before the days of a personal computer on every desktop) was to put together an Advent booklet of writings – poems, meditations, essays, think pieces – written by various members of the church family.  25 different entries in all – one for each day of Advent.  They would publish the booklet and distribute it to all parishioners to use as a way through what was, and still is, for many a very busy, sometimes lonely and often stressful time of year.

Today we have blogs – and so this Advent I would like to use this St. Mary’s blog to share a series of essays, thoughts, poems, prayers, meditations – anything that speaks to the season of Advent.  If you have anything you would like to contribute, please email it to Mattie Gustafson at


  1. Any form - a poem, an essay, a journal entry, a meditation - is OK.  If it is an original work, please make sure your name is on it. 

  2. If it is an essay or poem that someone else wrote, that you would like to share, please credit it fully, with the name of the writer and title and author of the book or article it came from.

  3. We can even do art - if you can send it digitally.  Same guidelines apply as for print - sign it, if it's yours;  credit it, if not.

To start us off, here’s a very short poem by one of my favorite authors, Madeleine L’Engle. 

After Annunciation
This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d have been no room for the child.

[from The Irrational Season, Book 3 of The Crosswicks Journals, by Madeleine L’Engle.]

May this be the beginning of a blessed Advent for you.

Posted by Mattie Gustafson with