Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Advent Waiting

Advent is a time of waiting.
A prepared waiting.
Formed in ages past.

By sorrow.
Wrong turns and bad decisions.

By prophetic words.
Dreams and fancies.
Promises and hopes.

All of it, a preparing.
A shaking and a shaping.
Molding the spirit.

Advent waiting.
Pondering what has been.
Ages past, and just last year.

Everything counts in the shaking.
The shaping.
The molding.

Nothing lost.
All is used.
The good and the bad.

We learn in Advent.
To give thanks.
For everything.

Not because everything is good.
It isn't.
Some of it is downright evil.

But nothing defeats the work of God.
Everything is a tool.
To prepare the soul.

Advent invites Thanksgiving.
For the preparing and its pain.
For the journey and its joy.

And when thanks is given.
When, with love, we receive what has been.
When, in humility, we dare to see the preparing.

The future opens before us.
A star shines from on high.

And in a nearby stable, small and warm, the Christ is born anew!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Where Is God?

Where is God?

There is a huge difference
Between "Here" and

Religion, at its worst,
Says, "Here"!
"Here is God."
"Here and now."
In our systems.
Our preaching.
Our music.
Our books.

Religion, at its best,
Says, "There"!
"There is God."
Not in our systems, but
In our yearning.
Not in our preaching, but
In our striving to speak.
Not in our music, but
In the upwelling of the heart.
Not in our books, but
In our wrestling with words.

Religion tempted to remove the Distance
Between Here and There.
Is deadly.
Of reality.

Because God is always There.
Before God is always Here.
Only then.

If we begin There,
We never make Here the
Idol of our thoughts and
We never grow too confident.
That we have god tucked away in our
Pocket or purse.

A god who is always Here,
Is a god of our own making.

But a god who is always There,
Becomes and is, the
God of challenge.
Not always comfortable.
Beyond predictable.
Never manageable.
Refusing to be used.

The God who is always There.
Is Here, too.
But the God who is Here.
Dances away from our hands.
Tells us: "Don't hold on to me."

"Let me go."
And then,
"Follow me."