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Advent

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I love the season of Advent. For several years I overlooked it’s deep meaning and spirit. The season goes against most things of our culture… it should slow us, prepare us, allow for longing and anticipation.

Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” The entire season is the celebration of the coming birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000+ year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God.

In this focus on past and future Advent also symbolizes the spiritual journey of individuals and a collective group, as they affirm that Christ has come – That He is present in the world today, and that He will come again. It also confesses its own responsibility as a people commissioned to “love the Lord your God with all your heart” and to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, of longing. There is a yearning for deliverance, first expressed by Israelite slaves in Egypt as they cried out from their bitter oppression. It is the cry of those who have experienced the tyranny of injustice in a world, and yet who have hope of deliverance by a God who has heard the cries of oppressed slaves and brought deliverance!

It is that hope, though faint at times, that God brings to the world the anticipation of a King who will rule with truth and justice and righteousness over His people and in His creation. It is that hope that once anticipated, and now anticipates a Messiah, who will bring peace and justice and righteousness to the world.

This peace, justice, and righteousness does not look like we think it should.

Emmanuel. God with us. God in us.

 

Advent resources:

Richard Rohr’s Preparing for Christmas

Thomas McKenzie’s The Harpooner- Advent Devotional

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On The Vine

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Consciously, trustfully, lovingly remaining on “the Vine” (John 15:1), which is to be connected to our Source, is precisely our access point to deeper spiritual wisdom. We know by participation with and in God, which creates our very real co-identity with Christ: We are also both human and divine, as he came to reveal and model. The foundational meaning of divine transformation is to surrender to this new identity and to consciously draw upon it every day.

This realization that Someone is living in us and through us is exactly how we plug into a much larger mind and heart beyond our own. Afterward, we know in a different way, although we have to keep relearning this truth over and over again (which is probably the point of daily prayer). This demands a major surrendering of our small self, our little ego boundaries. This “foundational holiness” or ontological union with God is actually our first nature. In fact, God has always—and only—been in union with our obviously imperfect humanity. That is the essential and eternal character of divine mercy and the perfect love of God.

Living and thinking autonomously, separately, or cut off from such a Vine or Source is what Paul means by being “foolish” or “unspiritual”; whereas surrendering to our identity in God is the beginning of all wisdom and an unending power Source. Surrender to Another, participation with Another, and divine union are finally the same thing. Once we rest in this union, we look out at the world from a much fuller Reality with eyes beyond and bigger than our own. This is precisely what it means to “live in Christ” (en Cristo) and to pray “through Christ our Lord. Amen!”

Adapted from Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi, pp. 68-71 (Richard Rohr)

 

 

 

 

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Top 10 Albums of all time

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  Well… here’s my Top 10 of all time (so far): The Boxer Rebellion – Union Imogen Heap – Speak For Yourself The Killers – Hot Fuss Over The Rhine – Drunkard’s … Read More →

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MUSIC

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  Here’s some music for you to pick up if you’re interested. My debut solo EP. $4.99 Luminous CITY’s debut album. $7.99 Luminous CITY’s Instrumental album. $5.99 AND… there may … Read More →

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Why I am Anglican.

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For the majority of my life I have stayed at arm’s length and even cringed at the thought of affiliating myself with a religious denomination. Most of this stems from … Read More →

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Sacred Environments

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“I don’t know, it just seems like it doesn’t make a difference if I go to church or not. I get more out of a good day at the park … Read More →

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