Examining our Jewelry.
Daily Advent Reflection.
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Sold me a wealth of pleasure,
it was a dime store full of pain.
The stuff I thought was jewelry;
it turns out to be chains.
– Bill Mallonee / Vigilantes of Love “Losing it”
These daily Slow Church Advent Reflections are based on the Daily Readings of the Revised Common Lectionary (Year B). We love for you to read and reflect along with us!
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Last week, we highlighted the power that Babylon holds over us and our habitual unfaithfulness to the way of Christ. However, in Western consumer society, I’m not sure how often we even realize our captivity, let alone mourn it. Like the kings and merchants of Rev. 18, the powers of the world have us ensnared by means of our selfish interests and as long as these interests are taken care of and we’re comfortable, then we’re blind to our own captivity.
The Psalm for these days leading up to the third Sunday of Advent is Psalm 126, a song that celebrates God’s liberation of Israel from exile in Babylon. Now unlike us, the Israelites were deeply aware of the reality of their captivity, and mourned it. And because they had grieved their captivity, they were able to celebrate with the deepest joy when God liberated them. “When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,*” says the psalmist, “we were like those who dream. 2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy” (v. 1-2). Their exile was such an oppressive nightmare, that they could hardly believe that God had actually set them free.
The liberation that Christ has brought to earth is great news, but we can experience the joy of it, the singing and gleeful shouting and dancing, only to the extent that we have repented of our captivity to selfish desires. May this Advent season be a time of grieving our captivity and of repentance, so that we may be able to sing and shout with the deepest joy that Christmas day will bring!