Friday, December 05, 2008

Advent simplicity: Light and Beauty Friday Five

Sally from RevGalBlogPals 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.

Sooo.... here's the Friday Five:
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....

I've been thinking a lot about the difference between HOPE and DREAMS. I can quote you several verses, but to really internalize this and make it "mine" I have struggled to articulate the difference.

DREAM: that's a wishing, a pie-in-the-sky "oooohhhh I want THAT for Christmas" kinda feeling. It might or might not happen. I might or might not be a part of its coming to reality. It might or might not be realistic or even in my best interests. I don't want to DREAM as much as HOPE.

HOPE: that's the intangible reality that says that God will do what is promised. SO...

1. I HOPE for justice to pour down on the oppressed, the hurting and the mistreated.
2. I HOPE for an end to sadness and mourning and pain
3. I HOPE for all of us who have spiritual gifts will have the courage and opportunity to use them
4. I HOPE for a Kingdom reality that turns all of our ideas about heaven and righteousness upside down
5. I HOPE for an opportunity to dance in heaven with all creatures and poeple that I love and miss.

And I HOPE for peace and joy for each one of you during this season...

Deb

11 comments:

Processing Counselor said...

Lovely

Sally said...

wonderful Deb, may God be with you

revcrystalk said...

beautiful, amen and amen!

chartreuseova said...

I like you ideas on Hope. And I especially like #5.

RevDrKate said...

Beautiful, Deb!

davenu said...

#3...yes.

LutheranChik said...

Deb, your post made me think of my recent trip to the United Nations. We were standing in the hallway where they have the 30 rights of the UN Declaration of Human Rights displayed -- each in its own frame, with very simple, childlike art illustrating each right; because, as the artist who designed the display observed, these rights are not difficult to undersand -- and I was moved to tears. They're so easy to understand, yet so hard for us to actually guarantee.

Shawna Renee said...

Wonderful answers Deb. Now you have me thinking of the difference between hopes and dreams.

Sophia said...

So powerful, Deb-as was your poem of a few days ago. Advent blesings.

Auntie Knickers said...

Beautiful -- I join you in that hope!

Diane said...

I especially like #3