Sunday, November 27, 2005

THE ADVENT CHRONICLES


Part 1: "Unto Us A Child Is Born"

Another advent season has made its way into our lives. As I sit here thinking about this season (MY FAVORITE SEASON!!) I can't help but think of the darkness that clouds my joy. The world just seems to be in conflict more than in years past. There is a feeling of fear that just seems to surround our culture- and it seems that often times when fear begins to drive our culture- facism begins to feed and thrive. The war in Iraq, genocide, deception from our national leaders, the aids epidemic, and even conflict within the church- all these things are just surrounding me.

But despite these events- the holy rhythm of God's time pushes me toward the light of HOPE. "Unto us a child is born" rolls back and forth like a small cradle in my mind. I think about Jonas and Abby and how even in the midst of the mess of the world I have hope that they will live in a different world- a world that has been transformed by Christ's peace.

Was it God's plan to birth Jesus- to have come to us a vulnerable, small and fragile child? Our hope- THE HOPE- for the world came to us as a baby. And this little baby who broke into our history transformed that history with his life. This little baby- whose mother fed him her milk in the wee hours of the night, and sang songs to him the songs of her faith; whose father taught him to work with his hands and passed on the traditions of his father's father- was God's "THIN PLACE" where heaven and earth met in a sensuous dance, being reconciled into one.

And here I am now on a Tuesday night thinking about the gift that each child who is born is to our world. For with each child contains the potential to be a "thin place" for our world to help it look more like the Kingdom of God.

I think of how within my own congregation when a child is baptized the congregation commits to the nurture, care, and discipleship of that small person. Could it be that we do this because we hope that one day this child will grow up to be part of a world that is differentthan the one we live in now? Are we committing to equipping this child with the faith and practices to embody God's love in such a way that (s)he will help shape the world we live in? If we don't believe that there's hope for the world and hope for that child, then I wonder if we shouldn't make the commitment to each baby we baptize.

Maybe with each little baby that is born around the world God is saying to us, "See, unto you a child is born! There is still hope that the world will be the way I imagine it to be- so don't give up. I'm at work, I'm doing my part! Just bring these children up knowing the stories and walking in "THE WAY" and they'll do the rest... THE KINGDOM IS AT HAND...."

3 comments:

John said...

YES! It is a season of hope.

Even as an atheist, I yearned for Christmas and saw a sacredness unique to it. Take away the commercialism and such, and it is a remarkable time for everyone.

Scott said...

Jonathan,

Great post on Advent. I hope all is going well with your transition and new ministry.

Grace and Peace,
Scott

St.Phransus said...

i had my first staff meeting today. there was like, 20+ people in there. CRAZINESS!!! Yes, it seems like a great place so far.

shalom,
jonathon