Second Sunday of Advent

For Christians, Advent is not a time of opening up little windows with chocolates as we await the really big booty of presents under the tree on Christmas morning. That is not what we are waiting for. We are waiting for light, for God to renew and heal the world, a promise that we understand to have been mysteriously embodied in a baby born in a manger.

Advent recognizes a profound spiritual truth — that we need not fear the dark. Instead, wait there. Under that blue cope of heaven, alert for the signs of dawn. Watch. For you cannot rush the night. But you can light candles. Sing some songs. Recite poetry. Say prayers. (Diana Butler Bass)

Deep reading

I am handicapped in my reading. Over the years I have allowed the short attention span of media and the internet and social media drain my ability to read deeply. It is hard work and I’ve too often allowed myself the bad habit of skimming and skipping.

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Advent and the power of prayer

Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1, CEB)

George MacDonald wrote this about prayer:

And why should the good of anyone depend on the prayer of another? I can only answer with the return question, “Why should my prayers be powerless to help another?”

The Lord taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done.”

Lord, bring me into living, loving prayer.

Loving others in their context needs to happen FIRST

When I was in graduate school, I took a very formative course on black church history with an African American pastor. I vividly recall him saying in class, when discussing racism in the church, “Don’t tell me what you believe about Jesus. Tell me how you feel about black people, and that will tell me everything I need to know about what you believe about Jesus.”

More HERE.

If I cannot love someone in their particular context, it doesn’t matter what I spout as a general principle. This is the missing piece of a truly congruent faith.

The Great Hope of Advent

We have entered into Advent. It is a time of longing. This season brings a renewed sense of longing for the second coming of our Lord. Each year brings a new perspective to me. Sometimes it is remembering his first coming and the longing of Israel. This time it is a longing to see the Lord truly come in justice.

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Keeping perspective

It is good to camp in Isaiah 40 from time to time. In an age where it is easy to be upset because of whatever economic or political situation is going, we need the long view. We are not satisfied with the long view any longer, which is why I need Isaiah 40.

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With Thanks

Most merciful Father, we humbly thank you for all your gifts so freely bestowed upon us: for life and health and safety, for strength to work and leisure to rest, for all that is beautiful in creation and in human life; but above all we thank you for our spiritual mercies in Christ Jesus our Lord; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, on God, for ever and ever. Amen. — BCP, 2019

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