Monday, December 17, 2007

Gone Fishin'....

It's been so long since I posted that I wouldn't be surprised if there is no one around to read this. But on the off chance some intrepid soul is still stopping by...

I'm going to take a break from blogs. Since I'm clearly not posting here that much, it's the ones I read like a monkey on crack from which I need a vacation. You know the ones---MadPriest and Father Jake and Tobias and Mimi and...well, add your own name to the list because, if you are part of the progressive Episcopalian blogging ring, I guarantee you I read your blog.

But doing so is beginning to wear me down. I spend more time reading blogs than I should---and I have enjoyed the recent Anglican fray too much. I have found myself addicted to the high of being outraged. I suspect this is not healthy for my soul---and that it explains the spiritual dryness I've been feeling lately...

So time to back away for a bit. I've got some writing of my own I'd like to do, and I'm also going to be moving right after the holidays. I guess I need to spend some time sorting and packing.

I also need to spend some special time with my kids---who are growing way too fast!!---and with myself. I've not been paying attention to God lately, and it shows.

In his sermon last weekend, my dear friend (who happens to be a priest) challenged us to consider what Christ was doing in our own lives this Advent. He used the following Gospel reading, in which Jesus answers John the Baptist's question: Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?

Jesus responds by saying:
Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. Blessed are those who take no offense at me. Matthew 11:4-6
With his permission, here is what my friend asked us to do:

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Take a personal and private inventory during Advent---Look at those six signs of Christ in the reading from Matthew 11: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.

In your personal history, which ones has Christ effected in you, already? That is Christmas past.

Which ones do you detect that Christ is doing in your spiritual formation right now? That is Christmas present.

Which ones don’t even appear on the radar screen yet, but await the future? That is Christmas yet to come.

That’s Advent! Gratitude for Christ’s action in the past. Cooperation with Christ’s working in the present. Faith in Christ’s coming to us in the future...when he will turn “mourning into morning” (G.M. Hopkins)!

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I'm going to do that inventory. I'm going to spend some time with God, my children, and the people with whom I share "meatspace" (to use an inelegant Internet term).

I'll be back when the well isn't so dry---and when I've relearned what Jesus meant when he said "Blessed are those who take no offense at me."

May you all have a blessed Advent and a holy Christmas---and may the "tidings of comfort and joy" remind us of our own responsibility to be God's hands and feet in this weary, broken world.