Friday, December 05, 2008

RevGals Friday Five: Advent

Sally 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....

Here are mine:

1. I would like a peaceful, relaxed Christmas--no frenzied shopping, no maniacal Martha Stewart ambitions. Really, I do not need to hand-decorate cookies.
2. I want to not be so afraid of overcommitting that I never commit at all. I've always managed my ADD by not assuming any extra responsibilites. But life gets a bit bare...I need to find a balance.
3. I would like care more about God; He and I have a generally cordial but rather distant relationship
4. I pray for solace for my brother and his wife who lost their only child. I pray for a little seed of hope--anything--for them.
5. I have not developed many friendships since I married. It's so much harder than when I was in college and I could easily find others with my interests. I need to work on this.

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