Sunday, November 27, 2011

Status Quo and the First Sunday of Advent

For better or worse Christmas shopping season is upon us. Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day/the single largest shopping day of the year was on Friday (ironically placed as it is after a day when we at least claim to be thankful for all we have and run out to get more and more than we need or even sometimes want) and today is the First Sunday of Advent. I hope to over the next four weeks to post some things about how the Christmas Story (when I make to pry it from the death-grip pop culture seems to have on it) speaks to and radically challanges me. I expect much of the reflections I share will be heavily influenced by the Advent book I'm planning on going though Follow the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas.

Today I read a piece by Henri Nouwen where he says:

waiting is active. Most of us think of waiting as something very passive, a hopeless state determined by events totally out of our hands. The bus is late? You cannot do anything about it, you have to just sit there and wait. It is not difficult to understand the irritation people feel when someone says, "Just wait." Words like that seem to push us into passivity.
But there is none of this passivity in scripture. Those who are waiting are waiting very actively. They know that what they are waiting for is growing from the ground on which they are standing.

That resonates with me because the world's messed up and I need to get my rear in gear to help fix it (I wrote a piece on work a few weeks back that seems particularly relivant at this second).

A Resurrected Christmas from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.

The other side of waiting (and Nouwen does go into this) is hope.

I'm excited about some of the things that are happening in and around the #Occupy movement but part of that excitement for me is rooted in a hope the status quo is unsustainable and at some point must change but also that God's going to make things right. I've heard Stanley Hauerwas say that it's important for us to read the Bible in reverse and I think that's true in how we should read the Gospels (Good News) as well, with with Life beating the hell out of Death. And if we can't muster the strength to make that story one that is being lived out in our communities, it can feel like cheap lip-service to say we'll see it in the realm to come.

May we all learn to actively wait
To live out resurection in our own lives and community
And may we find our hope in things bigger than the stuff is (not) under our Christmas tree

A joyfull Advent to you all.

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