I spent this Sunday listening rather than speaking. Listening is a good way to hear God's message for us. True enough, I often am surprised to find God speaking to me while I'm trying to give God's message to the people from behind a pulpit (I bet you other pastors and preachers can vouch for that experience). But listening is so much better.
The whole congregation had the rich opportunity to hear my partner and companion reflect on the scripture readings for Advent I. These were some difficult texts: a section of the Little Apocalypse (Lk 21.25-36), a few short lines of Jeremiah, and Ps 25. She did beautifully.
You can read her sermon over on her blog, la fleur épuisée. I encourage you too. It's a valuable
Here are two snippets from her thoughts. First her thesis statement:
The message I think the Spirit wants all of us to hear is this: the very act of expecting something transforms us; waiting with hope changes who we are in the meantime.And then my favorite paragraphs:
But Jesus says, “When these things--when these signs of a falling-to-pieces world--begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”Check it the rest at her blog.
Stand up, he says. Lift up your heads. Your redemption is drawing near.
Don’t cower in the basement or the bomb shelter; don’t fight for the last gallons of milk at the grocery store; don’t sit with your eyes glued to the TV, bemoaning the fate of civilization as we’ve known it. Do not fear. Do not worry. Stand and lift up your head: open your eyes with hope, because the kingdom of God is nearby. Watch for it, even now. Notice the signs of God’s commonwealth--sparks of justice and peace and kindness and abundance--even as you also see the anguish of this planet and its people.