Sunday, December 16, 2007

Advent 2

The daily readings for Advent (by Maggi Dawn) have been recalling Elijah's role as a precursor to John the Baptist. In some ways a flamboyant herald who makes big statements for God, Elijah also makes big (and sometimes public) mistakes. Dawn writes these stories in such a way we have to connect with them in our humanity. Questions I am pondering:
Who and what are setting my agenda?
Do I allow challenges to my faith to make me defensive?
Am I distracted from doing the most valuable thing with my time and mental energy?
Do I exhaust myself and still think it is up to me to be able to get into the right spiritual place to hear God? Do I acknowledge that taking care of myself physically and mentally is part of my spriritual health?

Elijah goes through some very dramatic experiences and still loses sight of the fact that God can be counted on in the hard places. When he is threatened by Jezebel he gives up. I have seen God work in my life and in the lives of those around me for many years, yet today I struggle with believing God will give me the strength and grace to really forgive in a couple of situations. The timing is ironic. This week the stories are unfolding about the families of victims in the YWAM and New Life shootings pouring out forgiveness to the family of the shooter. It certainly caught my attention and brought an encourageing reminder to me that if I am willing, God is able.
image: detail of Elijah by Jose de Ribera

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Advent has come at a very good time for me. Advent is about expectation, something (someone) coming, beginnings. Remembrance and reflection heighten the expectation and longing for the new. In the advent meditations by Maggi Dawn that I am reading, there is a lot of wisdom drawn from looking at the stories of ancient people from the beginning of time. I'm seeing how they lived in between promise and fulfillment and how they followed what came before, but also made it their own with first-hand encounters with God and with choices they made. There are things that I have been rethinking over this past year. Little nudges that set in motion a slight change in perspective have made my already shifting idea of church shift even more. Interesting how this book on Advent, titled Beginnings and Endings (and what happens in between), touches on some of those pesky areas to do with kingdom, social justice, people who differ, God's calling, and more. In this season of expectation and hope I look forward to the new that is coming. New understanding will be part of it and welcoming the real Christ into real life. During Advent we make room for him.