Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday five: longing in our hearts

A big thank you to Sally of the RevGals for this opportunity to ponder things deeply in our hearts. She writes:

"Imagine a complex, multi-cultural society that annually holds an elaborate winter festival, one that lasts not simply a few days, but several weeks. This great festival celebrates the birth of the Lord and Saviour of the world, the prince of peace, a man who is divine. People mark the festival with great abundance- feasting, drinking and gift giving....." (Richard Horsley- The Liberation of Christmas)

The passage goes on, recounting the decorations that are hung, and the songs and dances that accompany the festival, how the economy booms and philanthropic acts abound....

But this is not Christmas- this is a Roman festival in celebration of the Emperor....This is the world that Jesus was born into! The world where the early Christians would ask "Who is your Saviour the Emperor or Christ?"

And yet our shops and stores and often our lives are caught up in a world that looks very much like the one of ancient Rome, where we worship at the shrine of consumerism....

Advent on the other hand calls us into the darkness, a time of quiet preparation, a time of waiting, and re-discovering the wonder of the knowledge that God is with us. Advent's call is to simplicity and not abundance, a time when we wait for glorious light of God to come again...

Christ is with us at this time of advent, in the darkness, and Christ is coming with his light- not the light of the shopping centre, but the light of love and truth and beauty.

What do you long for this advent? What are your hopes and dreams for the future? What is your prayer today?

In the vein of simplicity I ask you to list five advent longings...

1. I long for our country to steady itself...to stanch the financial bleeding; to rediscover its own moral compass; to do justice, feed the hungry, care for the sick, and innovate our way into a new energy (both in the inspirational sense and the make things go sense). I long for our new President to step calmly into the gap and start helping us clean up this mess.

2. I long for a global religious community that values humility, compassion and reason as much as it values dogma. That's the macrocosm...in micro, I imagine a world in which each of us could remember and take seriously the words of Wonderful Colleague: "...but I might be wrong about that." It'd be great if we could all stop grasping for the Moral High Ground, and instead reach out to each other. Not up, not down--across. I long for the wisdom and courage to live this myself.

3. I long to stay centered in gratitude, music and humor...whatever is around the next corner. The gifts of my life are remarkably abundant: Beloved, pups, friends, church community, music (choirs!), books, creativity, purpose, home, enough to eat...even in this increasingly unstable global picture, the home front is a remarkable gift.

4. That having been said, would a bag of money sufficient to pay off the credit cards be too wild a request? :-D

5. And on a practical note, I long for time. Time to walk the pups, to sit and read, to write, to sit with Beloved and just be. To get quiet enough to create and to be the catalyst for the things I listed above in my own little corner of the world. To ground myself in joyful hope, as the liturgy says.

Here, friends, is one of the great storytellers of our time, from a musical perspective, singing about longing:


4 comments:

Sally said...

:-) at # 4- wish I'd been brave enough to blog that!

Shalom said...

#1 and #2, especially #2 - so well-said. Heartfelt agreement here. Thanks for stopping by my place as well. Peace-

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I loved all of these. I agree with all the idealistic ones, but #4 made me smile. (That's exactly why I'm juggling three writing jobs right now and will do so till 1-31.)

mompriest said...

yeah....exactly....