Advent Themes Part II

Let us pray:

By the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable to you O Lord our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.

The prophet Isaiah announces good news: God comforts and strengthens a wearied and exiled people in preparation for their homeward journey.  Mark’s Gospel announces the good news of God in Jesus Christ: God comes to turn the world right side up and baptize us with the Holy Spirit.

Coming Home and a Spiritual Baptism. 

Two advent themes worth reflecting on as we prepare our hearts for Christ’s coming anew into our lives during this present time.  There is no question in my mind, and I suspect recognizably in all of our minds, that we are living in the midst of a time of deeply divided ideological world views.  What is right, what is just; what is progress? What is the role of the United States of America upon an ever-shrinking global stage?  Those are important questions.  I wonder, though, if collectively as a nation we have forgotten a different set of questions.  What is compassionate?  What is merciful?  What is true?

The real issue, in my mind, is learning to view the entire world with loving-kindness, for the Earth and all her peoples are God’s family.  In moments like these, when we are at a crossroads, it is sometimes hard to stand for Truth.  Yet Christ is inviting us to be vessels of Truth.

Those of us who have been reading Richard Rohr this week have come across some teachings around the nature of making room for Christ in our lives, re-inviting Christ into our lives, making our heart Christ’s home, in effect being baptized by the Holy Spirit to live into our role within the Body of Christ.  This is existing in and for the Kingdom of God that is now and yet to be, the Kingdom of Love being birthed anew in us, we who are Lights kindled from a Greater Light to a world that desperately needs enlightening.

When we are living into our portion of the Body of Christ, we are living such that God’s truth, God’s reality, God’s economy, God’s sovereignty, God’s loving kindness breathes through on the winds of the Holy Spirit.  Ha ruah Elohim is wind, is fire, is love deeply kindled in us; our task, then, as members of God’s Heaven on Earth, is to be diligent in presenting that love in a shape that we can call our own yet also one the world recognizes as truly life-giving.  That is our offering, our portion of the Cosmic Christ brought to Earth, living in us for the healing of the world.

With the 10,000-foot view re-established, I invite you down to the level of reality in which we live and move and have our being.  How do we reflect Cosmic Christlikeness in our daily lives “at home.”

Some of you may remember the children’s book I’ve read entitled God in Between.[1] Two representatives of a lost village travel to find God, return after many months, and add windows in their homes and paths between their houses, but never speak of finding God.  The villagers come to them, shouting, “Tell us…Where is God?”  The two speak, telling of their journeys but not finding God.  The villagers are discouraged, and begin to declaim “so we were right, there is no God.” Yet they also ask, how did you make windows in your homes and paths between your homes?”  They answer, “With God’s help.”  But the travelers, who have become known as the Ones Who See Out Windows, have something more to say.  “God is in the between.  In the between.  In between us.”[2]

In this season of Advent, this time of waiting between Thanksgiving and Christmas, how does the Holy Spirit manifest itself in the “between-ness” of our lives?  I would invite you to reflect on that as I read to you another story.[3]

May all glory be unto the One who is coming, even Him who is the Christ.  Amen?  May it be so.

[1] Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. God In Between (Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights Publishing, 1998)

[2] Ibid.

[3] Angela Elwell Hunt. The Sleeping Rose (Nashville: Tommy Nelson, 1998)

Questions for Reflection

The prophet Isaiah announces good news: God comforts and strengthens a wearied and exiled people in preparation for their homeward journey.  Mark’s Gospel announces the good news of God in Jesus Christ: God comes to turn the world right side up and baptize us with the Holy Spirit.  As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Messiah, what is the beginning of God’s good news in your life, and how will it change the way you approach this season of expectation and hope?

Household Prayer: Morning

Lord, how I love this season of new beginnings, the opportunity to turn toward you and start again.  Empower me to be a messenger of good news, and a leveling influence along the way, as I seek to be one with you in smoothing out the rough places I encounter.  Amen.

Household Prayer: Evening

Lord, you have comforted me throughout this day and rescued me from my exile.  Where I have flourished, I give you thanks; where I have erred, I ask your forgiveness.  Protect me through the night that I may rest in your realm of peace where righteousness makes a home.  Amen.

About Scottrick

Parent ~ Pastor ~ Poet ~ Author
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