Welcome to the new year according to the Christian church in the West. Advent, the four week season of preparation leading to Christmas, hits on something very deep in me. It is partly the minor cords of longing and hope, and partly the slightly crazy texts speaking of red moons and stars falling. And challenging sayings like this. Mark 13:32 "But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come." It is as if the ancients knew we'd make Christ's coming into something easy and fattening and they wanted to challenge us to find, as Charles Taylor calls it, a "higher time" in this season when ordinary daily time is bracketed and we face the deeper mysteries of our lives and the life of the world. O Come, O Come Emmanuel.