Advent is Always Arriving

A Not So Obvious Message

For instance, most everyone I know contends that the mustard seed parable (Matthew 13:31-32) is about faith. I think that’s an easy route to take. When you read the parable, on the surface it’s about something tiny growing into a large tree or bush, and it seems to make sense why someone may think it’s about faith. For me the power in Jesus’ teachings is that he posited the NOT SO OBVIOUS, in order to short-circuit and dismantle our conventional ways of thinking and being.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 34: Experiencing God as Light, A Christmas Lesson

Download the PDF of A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson #34 – “Experiencing God as Light” right into your digital device. God can be experienced as light, visible to the physical eyes and as a universal inner reality.

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A Joyful Path, Year One, Lesson 35: Experiencing God as Joy, A Christmas Lesson

We know true joy when we experience the reality of God’s presence within. The word joy is used at Christmastime so often that it is almost synonymous with the season. When we have an inner awareness of the presence of God, we experience joy. When we celebrate the birth of Christ, we celebrate that living presence born on earth. Joyful day! God’s presence can be experienced in every moment of our lives when we become aware that the reality of God never changes; it is not dependent on circumstance or season.

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The Wise Man’s Confession

What wisdom I have
Awakens me to my blindness.
I cannot see light itself:
What I know of light
Is only an alluring shadow
Of what it is and does.

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Way Back When: Christmas Oranges – Christmas Eve Sermon

While we’re busy explaining that the birth stories about Jesus of Nazareth are really parables and not history, and others are trying to prove or disprove the details of the nativity myths, the Christ in our Mass is all but forgotten. While so people continue to bandy the word Christ around as if it were Jesus’ last name, far too many of us have forgotten what the church has been teaching for centuries.

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Remember our homeless LGBTQ youth this holiday season

Although Christmas is mostly thought of in terms of feasting and celebrating, Jesus’s, birth — like his death — was born of struggle, and that struggle was to be fully accepted. Similarly, when I think of the birth of Jesus, one of the themes that looms large for me is LGBTQ youth and young adult homelessness.

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The Child Who Calls Us to Evolve

Why do we care so deeply for the child born to Mary and Joseph in a Bethlehem cave and not the millions of other children born into a poverty of one kind or another? Is it because of who he became, or simply because we can only care for one person at a time?

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Time for a “Christmas Truce”

I want to declare a “Christmas truce” in the growing chorus of worry about churches, complaining about churches, wishing that churches could get with modernity, and all the lamenting and fussing and blaming and bickering.

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Toward a more than literal and more than rational and more than capitalist Christmas!

The stories of the Nativity need not be factual but mythically they are immensely powerful. The artists who composed them knew what they were doing—they catch the deep imagination and yearnings of the human heart for justice for the poor and in doing so offer what is in many ways the essence of the Christ path—that Good News will come to the poorest (the shepherds) and the four-legged ones (ox and sheep) will be in a privileged place and that Divinity is young—a child—not just an old, bearded fellow.

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Little Bear – Winter Solstice – Snowbound (Video)

This lovely video would be wonderful to share with the little ones during Winter time. Little Bear is an educational Canadian children’s animated series based on the Little Bear series of books written by Else Holmelund Minarik, and illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

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Searching for the Christmas Spirit

Searching for the Christmas spirit –
Is it heard when angels sing?
Is it found in deeds of merit?
Is it heard when church bells ring?
Come and treasure Jesus’ memory;
All the beauty it can bring.

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The Right Word

It’s true that words are not the answer to everything. Sometimes silence is healing. Sometimes silence lets you think. Sometimes just listening, either to a friend or to God or to your own heart is all that’s needed. But when the silence is deafening, when the silence is lonely, we need to hear a word. A word of hope. A word of encouragement. A word of love.

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Centering Our Souls in Advent

We are called to have faith and to prepare for the coming of Christ in our world.
But we too often imagine a babe in a manger than a true commitment to repenting of our lifestyles of wanting and having more than enough.

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Christmas in Egypt

On Jesus’ fifth birthday, living in Egypt, his parents announced that they were going on an outing. “We’ve got something to show you,” said Mary to Jesus.

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Shady Ladies, Forgotten Stories, and Images of God: Casualties of Our Advent Lectionary

As we approach the Third Sunday of Advent, I can’t help wondering why the creators of the Revised Common Lectionary (the list of prescribed readings for Sunday worship) have failed to remember the stories and names of our foremothers?

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Miracles of Human Birthing

Miracles of human birthing –
We but stand in silent awe.
God in each and every earthling
Gives to life its sacred core.
Come and ponder all the mystery of new life that we adore

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All I Want for Christmas Is an AK-47

When the Reason for the Season Goes Missing

This is the season Christian faith communities of every sort prepare in one way or another to observe the nativity of something deemed to be holy and salvific. We recall ancient prophecies that foretell a “prince of peace, and wonderful counselor” comes around each year with a message to save us from ourselves. (Isaiah 9:6)
Once born into a world of violence and terror not unlike our own, the message remains unchanged. Regrettably, so too has been the obstinate ways in which we have collectively refused to live with one another in response to that message.

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Winter Solstice: 21 Alchemical Reflections from Carl Jung to Pema Chödrön

In the northern hemisphere, this solstice occurs during what is typically the coldest season of the year. Throughout history winter has been regarded as the season of hibernation, stillness, melancholy, famine, dormancy, darkness and cold. The symbolism of the winter solstice to-date represents the coming of lighter days and potentially elevated optimism, energy and hope.

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