Friday, December 02, 2005
I passed my interview on Tuesday in a relatively painless process. The Jedi council approved of me. I am now a certified candidate for ordained ministry in the United Methodist church, meaning I have passed through the preliminary stage of a very long and laborious process. Now I spend the next two weeks spending my attention on preparing a half-hour presentation on weapons and warfare in the Old Testament (fun stuff) and a 12-page paper defending my own theological method (not so much fun stuff).

I've acquired an Advent calendar from the good folks of Communality. The theme this week is "Awakening." Their community is blogging their Advent experience together. Here's a sampling:
This week we focus on our need for awakening- to sin, heartache, injustice, suffering. This awakening can allow us to experience more fully the yearning for the coming of a Messiah. This week we can also pray that we can be awakened to Hope- in God's story, His promises, and the coming of His Son...

Perhaps these stories may help us to see the ways that God may be trying to awaken us. Let us pray that we may be faithful and obedient, trusting in God's mercy and grace, as we yearn for the coming of the Messiah this advent season.

And also:
And it is in this sense more than in any other that we know that it is not a false, illusory, or deluded hope. We are able to rejoice in an event that caused such immense heartbreak and hardship to so many, precisely because we know that in God's economy death has indeed become the very way to life...

God has given us a gift so precious that its worth dying to possess it; and this is what truly makes life worth the living. So, as we celebrate advent season this year, we would do well to remember all those people who pursued a purpose driven death so that we might be able to know the deeper mysteries of God's love and the purpose of our live's in this world.

Not to be a downer or anything, but lately, amidst the joyous festivities of the Christmas season, I've been reflecting on the great pain and suffering that coincided with the birth of Jesus.

At the birth of Jesus, an untold number of new mothers watched their infant sons slaughtered by Roman soldiers.

At the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary become outlaws and refugees, cut off from family and everything familiar.

This is the way Messiah comes--in violent disruption.

It's not exactly the marshmallow world Wal-Mart, or even the local Christian bookstore, would like to sell us this month.

And so in this season of festive lights, sugar cookies and sentimental music, Christ have mercy on those who have no home, those who are oppressed and those who have no voice.

posted by Peter at 12:23 AM
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