Addiction and the Church

In this case, addiction to doing things the way they've always been done. Bop over to A church for starving artists to read more about this. I really appreciated this viewpoint this morning.


Holding Fast to Advent

I'm a stickler/scrooge/grump with no sense of childlike wonder/the holiday spirit/the joy of Christ's birth because I'm not plastering my home with blinking lights/incurring mountains of debt at Suburban Mall/wearing antlers to work.

I realized how precious Advent was to me yesterday when someone was literally offended when I didn't think Christmas Village (acres of shops covered in strings of white lights) was marvelous. Well, no. If we're celebrating the birth of a very poor child, resting in a filthy feeding trough, I'm not sure that wasting more than our corner of the world's fair share of energy is a great way to do it. "Well, you just don't understand how beautiful something like that is it a child." I don't. I also don't understand how beautiful a Play Station is, but that's not relevant to my spiritual experiences, either.

When we're being pummelled by commercialism and gaudy self-indulgence on every side, I can't imagine why forfeiting Advent in the church is the best decision to make.

I'm only an intern. I've never dealt with the hostilities that come when a parish isn't getting what it wants. I know that I have a lot to learn, and I know that compromise is precious.

But I think this is the perfect time to embrace the idea that the church is meant to be counter-cultural in many ways, that we need a force holding back culture's pressures.

Wouldn't it be beautiful if we could use Advent as a respite for all the craziness of December? How many people are struggling through this "Season of Joy," trying to conceal lonliness, depression, concern over money and family? Are we helping them by smearing around the jolly? I think it's more helpful to provide a quiet time, a time where we focus on the hope of what can be, of what we believe will be.

This immediate-gratification world lunges straight for Christmas. Can't we please give them the comfort of a season where we watch for hope and peace?


Happy Muppet Dance of Joy

I REALLY AM an extrovert! proclaimed in the same tone as Sally Fields, "You like me! You really like me!

We had the quiet revelry that is Cookie Day on Sunday afternoon. A new girlfriend of mine came over, and our cute baby neighbor Jeremy stopped by for an hour or so. Such a wonderful recharge time for me.

AND THEN I had lunch with a wonderful woman who's just been ordained. We've been trying to get together for a few months now, and it was such a pleasure to spend time with her.

I feel like I'm getting a piece of myself back, being able to enjoy people again.


How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You

OK, yes, I would like to pat James Taylor's cute little tush. However, the post is in honor of others.

I've had a rough year. There have been a few particularly rough spots that I felt fairly alone in, and my social butterfly self turned 2006 into the Year of the Recluse.

Not a great year for an extrovert, let me tell ya.

I send an contact-info gathering email to a group of people who are truly dearly beloved. Getting back into contact is thawing my frostbitten heart, and bringing back a little missed peace.

I am so grateful for the beautiful people in my life-- wherever they may happen to live.


Advent Friday 5

From the RevGals

1) Do you observe Advent in your church?
Absolutely. Although, more in my home church than the parish where I'm interning.

2) How about at home?
I try to. It's the liturgical season I find myself most aware of.

3) Do you have a favorite Advent text or hymn?
I love love love the Annunciation story.

4) Why is one of the candles in the Advent wreath pink? (You may tell the truth, but I'll like your answer better if it's funny.)
To match one Rev Gal's Shoes!

5) What's the funniest/kitschiest Advent calendar you've ever seen?
It's not the funniest, but I've had one since I was little that's cloth, with a little toy mouse that moves through the pockets of each day.