Bo’s Advent Musings

Bo’s Advent Musings


Friends who know me well call me the “Sunrise Kid.” Some will receive random text messages from me at 6 AM with a new picture of my latest sunrise spot. I joyfully chase these glorious sights along the Jersey Shore. It wasn’t until last month that I realized I don’t have to drive a full hour to catch my sunrise off the water!

I’ve lived in Princeton for over 15 years, and it took that long to realize I can catch a waterfront sunrise only a SEVEN-MINUTE DRIVE AWAY! It finally occurred to me when I noticed the sunset while kayaking on Lake Carnegie – that perhaps I might catch the sunrise by looking at the other side! Instincts proved true, and new stunning colors filled my morning.

Morning sunrises off Lake Carnegie have become a sacred part of my Advent waiting. All I needed to do was get out of the house and look. And look at the other side.

I wonder if there is beauty just around the corner of your home that has yet gone unnoticed? When we shift our gaze, who knows what wonders we might find! 

O Come, O Come Emmanuel. “My soul waits for the Lord… More than those who watch for the morning…” (Psalm 130:5-7)


Text exchange between Bo
and her sister, Shinna Alava:

Bo Karen Lee:
This pic is a bit muted, but still lovely 🙂

Shinna Alava:
Lovely indeed!
It is amazing to think how faithfully the sun rises every morning. Actually, it’s amazing that all these planets are orbiting the sun and that the earth spins in one direction all the time at the same speed, so we can have day and night. And that we stay in the same spot in distance from sun and never stray, not getting too cold or too hot for our existence. God our creator put us all on one planet holding the complex and delicate balance of life, along with our complex ecosystem. Wow.
And every time it amazes us and fills us with awe, just to see one glimpse of the sun… or the ocean… or the moon… or God’s rock formations… or even the tiniest living organisms…  we are surrounded by beauty, awe, God’s creation, God’s wisdom.

Bo Karen Lee, ThM ’99, PhD ’07, is associate professor of spiritual theology and Christian formation at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her book, Sacrifice and Delight in the Mystical Theologies of Anna Maria van Schurman and Madame Jeanne Guyon, argues that surrender of self to God can lead to the deepest joy in God. She has recently completed a volume, The Soul of Higher Education, which explores contemplative pedagogies and research strategies. A recipient of the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise, she gave a series of international lectures that included the topic, “The Face of the Other: An Ethic of Delight.” Professor Lee recently completed her term as President of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, and is on the editorial board of the journal, Spiritus. In December 2022, Professor Lee launched the Center for Contemplative Leadership at Princeton Seminary, which she serves as its Founder and Director (and recent conference organizer exploring “Prayer as Resistance”). Full bio.
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