Some cheery Christmas thoughts from my favorite Advent writer, Fleming Rutledge:Continue reading “Oh… hell”
“The Christian faith has not been invented in order for us to claim for ourselves a powerful God who will push the delete button on all our enemies. The Christian faith is, rather, grounded in the story of that One who, against all human reason, emptied himself of his glory and came into our desert places, midnight to the north of him, midnight to the south of him, to stand under the wrath of God in place of the murderers of Rwanda and us sinners inside these four walls today.” — Fleming Rutledge, Advent
There is a collect for purity where we pray, in part, “O Lord, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid…”
This is Advent.Continue reading “To you all hearts are open…”
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. (Rev. 4:1-6)Continue reading “The focus of worship”
“In this season, the church celebrates two things: God has already acted definitively on our behalf, and God will act definitively in the future to bring his purposes once and for all. That is what it means to watch and wait for the second advent of Christ, not matter how long it takes.” — Fleming Rutledge, AdventContinue reading “Advent — the now and the not yet”
“Preparing the way for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is not going to be easy for you and me. It means laying ourselves open to God’s great leveling operation. It means relinquishing our most cherished strategies and defenses. It means living every day in anticipation of God’s work of cutting and filling. It means being ready at all times to relinquish one’s own special privileges in this world on behalf of those who might be very different from oneself.” — Fleming Rutledge, Advent
Our church (Church of the Apostles in Montrose, Alabama) had a night of word and worship taking us on a journey from creation to the birth of Christ. It was a night of beautiful, heartfelt worship.Continue reading “O Day of Peace that Dimly Shines”
Blessed Lord, who has caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of your holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
If there is a way for you to obtain Fleming Rutledge’s book, Advent, I would highly recommend it. Her compilation of sermons and articles through her years of ministry are so rich. She pulls no punches on the power of Advent and the glory of the once and future coming of Jesus Christ.Continue reading “Advent for the nonheroic”
“There is no way for the church to adjust its calendar to the world’s calendar. The church is not part of the American culture, (Read that sentence ten times!) and never should should have been. The church keeps her own deep inner rhythms.” — Advent, Fleming Rutledge
Advent is a time of darkness, waiting, and anticipation. It is something I am still trying to grasp as I walk in this Anglican Way. I pray every day to embrace it more.