Advent Blue

When we leave behind our personifications of the Deity, we can’t help but rekindle our love of God in whom all of creation rests. Recognizing the Earth as sacred and moving toward an understanding of the Earth as a beautiful part of the Body of God is vital to our being in God. Peter Mayer’s hymn to our Blue Boat Home puts a whole new hue in my perception of Advent Blue! I suspect the Welsh tune HYFRYDOL might also have something to do with my appreciation of this splendid addition to my Advent tradition! Enjoy

Advent Blue

When we leave behind our personifications of the Deity, we can’t help but rekindle our love of God in whom all of creation rests. Recognizing the Earth as sacred and moving toward an understanding of the Earth as a beautiful part of the Body of God is vital to our being in God. Peter Mayer’s hymn to our Blue Boat Home puts a whole new hue in my perception of Advent Blue!

LEARNING TO WALK IN THE DARK – Barbara Brown Taylor

I have listened  to these lectures several times. Each time Taylor leads me into the darkness something new is revealed. This week, I have been busy preparing for the Season of Advent fearful that I might not be able to capture the anticipation of the season. In a bit of a panic, I shut my eyes and saw the darkness pulsing with a kind of invitation to enter into the sacredness of the dark. So, after a long winter’s sleep, I awoke wondering if darkness itself might be the key to embracing Advent. Over a leisurely breakfast, Taylor’s musings on the power of darkness have opened me to a whole new vision of the wonders and mysteries of Advent.  

Taylor spent fifteen years in parish ministry and was named one of the twelve most effective preachers in the English-speaking world by Baylor University in 1996. She became a professor of religion at Piedomont College in 1998 and also teaches spirituality at Columbia Seminary.  Still a priest in the Episcopal church, Taylor has travelled the world in pursuit of sacred wisdom finding most of what she needed in her backyard.

These 3 lectures are rich in images as Taylor explores the “thick darkness” in which God dwells. The lectures were described as “a negative theology for emergents” and I do believe that progressive Christians would do well to revisit Brown’s mastery of mythic communication. So, if you are afraid of the dark, stumbling in the dark, or intrigued by the dark you will find in these lectures a familiar darkness in which lies beauty and wisdom.  If you are a preacher, take the time to linger over Taylor’s images, you will be rewarded with inspiration. Linger over the richness of her words, you will not be dissapointed!

LEARNING TO WALK IN THE DARK – LECTURE 1

LEARNING TO WALK IN THE DARK – LECTURE 2 – Night Guides

LEARNING TO WALK IN THE DARK – LECTURE 3

The Rebel Jesus – Advent Greetings from a Heathen and a Pagan

From the very first time I heard it, Jackson Browne’s “Rebel Jesus” has haunted me. In a season dominated by nostalgia, Browne’s stark view of the historical Jesus calls us to remember the one who stood with the poor and the oppressed, the outcast and the wounded. As we enter the season of Advent, can we hold nostalgia at bay long enough to engage our deepest longings and desires for peace? Not some nostalgic peace that stretches only so far as our own needs, or our own loved ones, but the peace that embraces those beyond our circles of care? Can our compassion for the earth and all her creatures move us beyond the idol we have made of the baby in the manger, toward the complexity of embracing the desires and longings of a rebel we probably wouldn’t want to entertain at our festive gatherings? Or will our seasonal madness crucify the rebel once again? 

This year, like all the rest, my challenge is to live somewhere within the tension created by the rebel Jesus and the one his contemporary detractors condemned as a glutton and a drunkard; between choosing life and recognizing my culpability in the cries of the ones still waiting for us to join the rebellion. 

Advent is a time of waiting in the darkness…if we dare…trusting that the light will come…knowing that the light needs reflectors in order to dispel the darkness!  May your Advent be filled with the challenges of rebellion!