Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yearning For Advent

With this post I have successfully completed a full month's blogging. And with a quick pat on my own back, I shall now forget about it until next November, maybe. Not that I won't blog, of course... There is something nice about setting a goal and fulfilling it, and there was something helpful to me in requiring the discipline to write daily. But it is an effort that sometimes left me feeling I was sacrificing more important things. I suppose part of the value in doing it is embracing those more important things with greater intention.

But, enough of this writing about writing about writing.

Where my heart finds me right now is longing for Advent. Oh, we're in it all right, but that doesn't mean that my heart can't still be longing. More and more I find Christ calling me right in the midst of laundry and cat litter, history and letter sounds, dinner prep and brushing my teeth. It is a strange sense, because sometimes I even think I want to fly from these in order to pray, or think. But then I realize that my dinner prep, offered with a longing in my heart for Him, is prayer, and makes meaningful the words when I do say them, or the thoughts when I meditate on them.

I am challenged, too, by something John Michael Talbot often repeats about what it means, for example, to forsake even one's family for the kingdom of God. He emphasizes that it isn't some cult-flavored hatred or shunning or forsaking we are to do, but a Christ-flavored surrendering we are to do. When I surrender my whole reality, especially those who are closest to me, to Christ's lordship, then Christ returns into my life my reality imbued with His Spirit. In Christ, family is no longer my slave or master, my judge or my whipping-boy. My family becomes the call of Christ to me to follow Him, and to be free. When I follow Him, my world widens, my heart widens, my family widens. I think those old Coke commercials appeal to us ("I'd like to teach the world to sing/in perfect harmony") because there is a yearning in our hearts for a communion that is beyond our power to create. It is the communion that is created only as we follow Christ. We fear following Christ, I think, like we fear death and pain. But as we keep our eyes on heaven, on what lies beyond the death and pain, on the love Christ bears for us right here and right now... yeah, we are empowered and en-couraged to go where He is, to follow after Him in hot pursuit.

So, a Blessed Advent to all. May you following the yearning in your heart for peace, for unity, for love. He is real. You aren't yearning in vain.

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