Advent—meaning "coming," in Latin—refers to this four-week season before Christmas of waiting and watching for the coming of God into the world. But just how is God coming? We invited some of our favorite theobloggers to reflect on that question in 100 words or less. Their responses follow. May their words inspire your own glimpses of how God is coming into the world this year.
Where do you see God coming into the world this Advent?
Our Responders: David Henson, Lisa Sharon Harper, Carl Gregg, Christine Valters Paintner, Bruce Epperly, Roger Wolsey, Susan Baller-Shepard and Christian Piatt
I see God coming this Advent in open spaces where we can explore questions that have no answers, or many answers, and in offering fully incomplete answers that we know will be wrong one day but start us on journeys. I see God in journeys, in beginnings, in completions, in wrong turns and crooked roads that get us wonderfully lost so that we may be found. In labyrinths and the first flare of incense, in the eucharists of families and faith, in broken bread and spilled wine. God is coming in everything this Advent, and in nothing at all.
David Henson is a journalist and a postulant for the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. He blogs at Patheos; read his Advent Meditation series here.
Lisa Sharon Harper
The 99 percent offers work and wealth
to the commons
with blessing and prayer.
schools, fire stations, police officers,
Medicare, Social Security, and Food Stamps
Are snatched from open hands.
Empty stomachs moan.
The .000258 percent hedge their bets against the common good.
Hiding common wealth in overseas tax shelters,
They roll the dice
Singing "Short against the box!"
But light is challenging darkness to "a fair one"!
A fair, just, and equitable one!
Feet and legs and hands
Minds and souls and hearts
They offer their bodies
Amen, Amen, and Amen.
Lisa Sharon Harper is Director of Mobilizing at Sojourners. She is also the co-author of the new book (with D.C. Innes) Left, Right and Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics.
At the first Advent (so to speak), the angel said to Mary about the still-unborn Jesus, "Blessed is the fruit of your womb" (Lk. 1:42). (See the precedent in Dt. 28:4.) This Advent, God is being birthed into the world again wherever there is what Paul called the "fruit of the Spirit . . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23). Whenever we follow Jesus' way of loving-kindness and allow God to make the fruit of the Spirit manifest in our daily life, we allow for the possibility of #OccupyAdvent!
Carl Gregg is the pastor of Broadview Church in Chesapeake Beach, MD, a Spiritual Director and a blogger at Patheos.:::page break:::
Christine Valters Paintner
In the Northern hemisphere Advent is the season of growing darkness and waiting in the midst of unknowing. Images of night, mystery, and birthing make my soul sing. During this time that we wait for God's coming, I pay close attention to my dreams, those nighttime visions that come to show me something new. An angel appeared in a dream to Joseph to tell him to wed Mary even though she was already pregnant. I listen for what holy invitations are being whispered to my own heart that might seem hard to believe in the scrutiny of daylight. God comes into the world through dreams of daring to break through perceived boundaries. We need the night vision of Advent to receive them.