This season of year is filled with anticipation, wonder, and a certain tension that stirs one’s inner Spirit. Stories are told reminding people to keep a watchful eye to see the arrival of good news to relieve a stressed and pain-filled world. Stories are told from different perspectives – there are visiting angels and emboldened shepherds – there are faithful wise men traveling by the guidance of a star and kings whose insecurities destroy families and alter generations.
We hear of dreams. Dreams that speak of hope and light in dark and unsettling times. To discover this hope, life-changing journeys must be taken. These journeys were both on foot and in the heart. A willingness to say “yes” transforms the life of a girl into a mother of a baby boy – a boy whose presence would shake earth’s foundation.
In Advent we are reminded to pay attention to details. Advent’s stories are told every year but their details can speak to us in different ways when told in new times and places.
Spend time with these stories, listening for their wisdom in this time and place. Insightful, inspiring, and at times disconcerting may we hear these familiar words ready to live God’s good news in a time when truth is losing value and trust is hard to find.
May God’s face shine upon you.
May God’s hope bring you wholeness.
And may you walk this day towards the light of a small star. (d365)
Darkness deserves gratitude.
It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand
that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.
And so… in the darkness seeds safely wait for their time. In the darkness nightmares are experienced and freedom can be gained.
Time may seem to slow where light is scarce but most new life requires the somber silence of deep night.
This passing night bears witness to the ultimate miracle as we witness the birth of new life. New life appearing from the hold of death’s darkness.
As dawn begins to raise her light on the distant horizon be prepared for life changing moments – where our greatest dream might swirl in the chaos of disbelief.
Already awake and prepared to face death’s horror, the women wait for the first sign of dawn. They will follow the path to the tomb that has quietly held the body of their beloved – of God’s beloved. If there was any hint of gratitude in their hearts it may have come as they watched the last moments of their Sabbath pass. Gratitude may have sparked as they heard the first note of the morning bird’s song.
How could they have been any more prepared? Arriving to offer their cleansing love, the darkest of night has rolled away leaving the soft light of morning to proclaim new life.
His is risen. The Alleluia moment has arrived. Darkness did not win. No- it only served as an incubator for within it life was being reclaimed.
The women’s duty had been redirected. They had witnessed an empty tomb and heard the Angels proclaim that He had risen. Life has overcome death and God’s good news would be spread throughout the world.
The moment has arrived! The first notes of the morning bird proclaims this news. Christ has risen. The news will spread quickly and soon all of creation will be filled with the song of Alleluia.
Welcome happy morning!!
(photo and quote from Network of Grateful Living)
This a wonderful day.
I’ve never seen this one before.
This morning is very quiet. Snow falls gently waking dawn’s life. No tracks nor shovels have touched the perfect blanket spread everywhere one can see.
A new day – one never been seen. Enjoy its detail. It will never be seen again!
( photo from Growing Nation)
We listened as did his disciples. He tried to prepare us for the events to come. We experienced the emotional spin of a final meal, a betrayal and anxious hours of waiting.
These minutes seem like years. We walk the dusty road in dis-belief. No sun light, only a sky filled with clouds of anger and heavy hearts. When ‘it is finished’ all is silent.
We hear this deafening silence. All that promised a New Way recedes into a hollowed stone – the grave of our hope sacrificed.
Alone- we stand together. The ashes lay before us. There is no stirring of a Phoenix, no thought of what is to come.
Unlike those nearest Jesus, we know that tomorrow’s sunrise will bring life anew. Yet it is important to stay present to this ‘time in between’. For only on this day can we ask – what impact does tomorrow’s daybreak have on our own faith and witness?
May your reflections bring strength on this Holy Saturday.
“Bright is the day that dawns with new life, casting death’s grim shadow from the garden. Bright is the future for even the most humble soul, rising up in the arms of angels. Bright is the promise to all the Earth, sharing peace among the children of light. Let every voice sing this shining song, for we have been set free, we have been ransomed from our own history, given a chance to live again, to hope again, and to see the healing of God spread like sunlight into the rooms of time. It does not matter how you pray, this day is for you, it is the bright day, the birth day, the day when nothing will ever be the same, save the love that rolls back the stone.”
(with much gratitude for the words of Steven Charleston and the image shared by Todd Donatelli)
(picture from Innocence/Brother, Give Us a Word )
This day is always painful for me. Not three days after celebrating the birth of a baby – a baby who came to ease pain and bring justice, we face the first reaction to his arrival. Clearly a threat to those in control, to those in power – the announcement of Jesus birth brought on a reaction of horror.
Feeling a real threat to his rule, Herod ordered the slaughter of ever child under the age of two throughout his region. All those babies killed because of one person’s insecurity. This act of anger and selfish greed is hard to comprehend and brings a sadness with no words.
We remember these children today. Lost due to the threat of God’s arrival, their cries echo in the air of history.
Could we hear about this event and use it as a reminder of the forces against all that is good in humanity. Acts of selfish deceit always surround us. The powerless continue to be at the mercy of those who lack compassion and wield power. For the sake of those innocent lives taken so long ago and for all children suffering from mean and selfish acts throughout our world today, let us stay alert and offer our protection no matter the risk.
The telling of the Good News has begun to float anew throughout the world. May we speak and act on the promise of that news – God’s kingdom is here in our midst – a kingdom filled with compassion and mercy.
The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of His wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of Your Mind.
Many of us will enter a doorway to sacred space this morning. As you stand on its threshold listen closely – God’s whisper is near to fill your heart with the wisdom of creation. Receive its renewal and grace knowing it is not meant only for you. When you return to the threshold ready to leave that sacred space, prepare to carry what you have received into a world where hope is scarce. Be ready to offer the good news where there is little news of any goodness. Share its promise through your actions, using words only when necessary. (paraphrased from St. Francis)
Blessings on this day of Sabbath.