“Advent River, Christmas Falls”

Tuesday, December 19

Rev. Dr. Paul Shupe, Senior Minister 

For most of its twisty length, the Presumpscot River in southern Maine is flat and calm.  It’s popular for canoes and kayaks.  Swimmers can go upstream without much more effort than it takes to go down.  It’s a lazy stream.  Sit on its banks and watch a stick or leaf float by and you’ve been entertained for many minutes.  It’s all headed for the Atlantic Ocean, of course, but it’s in no hurry to get there.

Until it is in a hurry.

Presumpscot Falls appear out of nowhere really.  You can follow a trail along the banks and the river looks as still as a pond until about two-tenths of a mile or so above the Falls, you begin to hear a rumble, and all at once the current picks up and a canoeist had better pullover and portage around, because suddenly the river bed drops twelve vertical feet in about fifty yards, and the water white tumbles over boulders the size of dining room tables, and you have to shout to be heard over the roar.  Sit beside the falls and water and your own thoughts are all that you can hear.

Christmas comes to us like the flow of the Presumpscot: slow and lazy at first, four full weeks of Advent watching and waiting, promises and proclamations, and it seems as if it will never arrive, until…suddenly, Christmas is here with a rush and a roar, and the day has come and it is nothing like the waiting that came before it, a sudden newness of life and possibility.

It’s coming, my friends, as surely as the falls.  Let us make ready.