Friday, December 14, 2007
Revgals Friday Five: Rejoice! From Mother Laura
Can you believe that in two days we'll be halfway through Advent? Gaudete Sunday: pink candle on the advent wreath, rose vestments for those who have them, concerts and pageants in many congregations. Time to rejoice!
Rejoice in the nearness of Christ's coming, yes, but also in the many gifts of the pregnant waiting time when the world (in the northern hemisphere, at least) spins ever deeper into sweet, fertile darkness.
What makes you rejoice about:
1. Waiting? It is always more fun to wait than it is really to get there I have found. Christmas in Church is always the greatest of the feasts for me. The anticipation and expectation that are part and parcel of Advent is especially significant. I liken it to the kind of anticipation that my cats have when the electric can opener runs. Not because of gifts, but because the Christmas Eve service speak so warmly of the meaning of the Incarnation. For me the Incarnation—that God became human for my sake is far more important to me than that he died on the cross for me. It says that God so loved humanity as to honor us with a spark of divinity. What a marvelous act!
2. Darkness? I am a SAD sufferer so the darkness means that I have to take better care of myself that I normally do. Advent and Christmas used to be very difficult to get through without going into depression. But since I started getting more sleep than I normally would, eating less sugar that I normally would and paying attention to my emotional needs ---which means I stay out of shopping malls as much as possible, I have more energy to meet the needs of work and community. Like M. Laura I like praying in the dark with just a candle as long as I am warm.
3. Winter? I basically like winter. It is why I live in Upstate NY. I do not ski or do winter sports but the beauty of snow, especially on those cold days after a snow when the sun comes out and it is clearer than the rest of the days of the year, are wonderful. But the snow has come quite early this year and I am afraid that winter is going to be long and tiresome. There is nothing worse than snow that gets black and grubby to dampen one’s spirits .
4. Advent? I love purple seasons, not because they are penitential but because the readings are so lush. Advent with all its hope resonates in my soul.
5. Jesus' coming? I am one of those who acknowledges that Christ has come. I also make the distinction between the Jesus of history and the Christ of eternity. So I am not so taken by the “Jesus is coming soon” mantra that seems to fill the more evangelical teaching. I believe that Christ comes to me at every moment and the important part of living the Christian life is to be awake at the moment God comes so I can be present. I do not believe in a cataclysmic event at which Judgment with a capital J is meted out. The God that I know is not that kind of judge. God is the kind of judge that poses a question that calls me to wrestle until I can make a decision for God. The God I know wants all to be saved, and I must choose that salvation. But I can only do that with God’s grace.