Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day 14 (art meditations + suggested resources for Advent)

Including the heartbroken families in Connecticut with our Advent meditations today.  Lord, grant them peace in the middle of tragedy.  Show yourself as Emmanuel. Amen.

"Advent is about learning to wait. It is about not having to know exactly what is coming tomorrow, only that whatever it is, it is of the essence of sanctification for us. Every piece of it, some hard, some uplifiting, is sign of the work of God alive in us. We are becoming as we go. We learn in Advent to stay in the present, knowing that only the present well lived can possibly lead us to the fullness of life." (Chittister)

During Advent I'll forego my weekly Buy More Art posts in order to share almost-daily meditations of Scripture, hymns, and art reflecting the alternate narrative and subversive time of waiting in hope for the Christ who came, the Christ who will come again and the Christ now among us.

Won't you join me?

Second Friday of Advent:

Forgiving Father
Frank Wesley

A song of response

Matthew 11:16-19

English Standard Version (ESV)
16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,

17“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
    we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Tim High, Vanity Fair Series No. 17
Vanity Fair Series, No. 17
Tim High
CIVA exhibit Silver: Codex VI

We wait for you to ache  
by Walter Brueggemann

With the energy we have,
we begin the day,
waiting and watching and hoping.

We wait,
not clear about our waiting.
But filled with a restlessness,
daring to imagine
that you are not finished yet--
so we wait,
patiently, impatiently,
restlessly, confidently,
quaking and fearful,
boldly and daring.

Your sovereign decree stands clear
and we do not doubt.
We wait for you to dissolve in tender tears.
Your impervious rule takes no prisoners,
we wait for you to ache and hurt and care over us
and with us
and beyond us.

Cry with us the brutality
grieve with us the misery
tremble with us the poverty and hurt.

Attend to us -- by attending in power and in mercy,
remake this alien world into our proper home.

We pray in the name of the utterly homeless one,
even Jesus.


Suggested resources for Advent:

Preparing for Jesus: Meditations on the Coming of Christ, Advent, Christmas, and the Kingdom by Walter Wangerin, Jr.

Advent and Christmas Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton:  Our family used this book last year from Advent through the two weeks of Christmas.  It was perfect -- warmly lighthearted and memorably poignant.  Friends of ours borrowed it for this year and are enjoying it as well.

If you'd like, print out the list of family activities I created to coordinate with the Chesterton Advent reader.  The book and the activities go through the two weeks following Christmas so there's still time for you to enjoy forming a new liturgy with your family this year.

[Interested in why our family values the season of Advent?  Read our post: Family liturgies for Advent and a confession from an exhausted Dad at Christmas]

"I keep expecting loud and impressive events to convince me and others of God's saving powers. Our temptation is to be distracted by them. When I have no eyes for the small signs of God's presence ... I will always remain tempted to despair." -- Henri Jozef Machiel NouwenGracias! A Latin American Journal (1983)  (via Diary of An Arts Pastor)

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