Christine Valters Paintner is an author, spiritual director and teacher and is the founder and online Abbess of Abbey of the Arts.
For 15 months, I have seen the world through the eyes of my grandson. I have rediscovered flowers, trucks, airplanes, stars, and fireflies. For both of us, every morning is an adventure. Advent is about embracing the little child, and experiencing the world with fresh eyes and a beginner's mind. This is the world of mustard seeds, growing imperceptibly to great trees, and seed sown in the fields, quietly multiplying one-hundred fold. There are no guarantees of success or survival for little seeds or toddlers. But, hope is in a new heart, love of this present moment, and commitment to ensuring that every baby experiences love, beauty, and abundance.
Bruce Epperly is a theologian, spiritual guide, healing companion, retreat leader and lecturer, and author of nineteen books. He is a regular blogger at Patheos' Faith Forward.
it isn't about waiting for baby Jesus to be born again,
swaddled in a sty;
and it isn't about waiting for Jesus to return again
from a cloud in the sky;
its about us deepening into God's kingdom,
liberated life for you and i
Roger Wolsey is a United Methodist campus minister and author of Kissing Fish: christianity for people who don't like christianity. Read another Advent poem—and other blogposts—by Roger at the Faith Forward blog here.
"Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it." (Genesis 28:16)
I see God's path in Leogane, in nurses at FSIL nursing school, who help heal communities. I see God in Liancourt, in a teacher's training center that educates teachers for communities throughout Haiti. I see God in laughter, and in upset. God will be who God will be, and God goes where God will go. But, we get to see bent leaves and branches that tell us God has passed by, God's trail of compassion, healing, love, and understanding. An overthrown apple cart, where the status quo isn't holding, where the last is first, finally? Tell-tale signs God's been around, that God, Immanuel, has been "with us."
Everything could be in this
harmony of moments,
nothing being until it already is,
convulsing in conversation that never ends.
We call, respond, swell and surge,
with urges too deep to claim as
We jump into nothing,
led only by a sense of the next,
the context of reflexive faith
is one that chases toward
but never reaches.
Faith teaches those who listen—
begs for refrain.
The pain of birth into new life is loss,
the cost of which is death to this life,
resurrected only by Love.
Christian Piatt is creator and editor of Banned Questions about the Bible and Banned Questions about Jesus and blogs at Patheos here. His upcoming memoir (2012) is called PREGMANCY: A Dad, A Little Dude And A Due Date.