The Challenge of Light

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.

Photo: sultanknish.com

Photo: sultanknish.com

 

The Challenge of Light

i.

advent is not about the coming

of a sweet baby.

it is not about sentimental,

trumped-up emotion.

advent challenges us

to an adult acceptance

of the kingdom of god,

to social imperatives,

to self-forgetfulness,

to letting go,

to a deliberate emptiness.

ii.

we like to make the Christ

into a perpetual baby.

we can cuddle a baby,

a baby asks nothing of us.

the Christ is so much more demanding.

iii.

advent doesn’t just happen

the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

our lives our one huge advent.

our lives are about bringing light

into this dark world.

iv.

in advent and winter we wait for light.

do we forget it’s up to us

to be light in the darkness

of a world that is

confused

stumbling

blinded

afraid?

v.

it’s easy to get hung up

in religion,

in practice,

in institutional think.

it’s easy to feel complacent

because we go to church,

because we give money.

the litmus test

is giving of ourselves,

is embracing mystery.

advent is not just a passive waiting.

it allows that we are responsible

to be light-bearers.

Most of these thoughts come from a small meditation book: Preparing for Christmas by Richard Rohr. I find them unsettling, preachy, even disturbing–I suppose because Rohr has hit that sore spot that challenges those of us who are Christian to really look at what Jesus asks of us in the Gospels. I hope there will be a message for all to hear…no matter what your own personal beliefs.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and many good things in 2014.

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

 

Big Tent Poetry–The Gospel According to St. John

Anikiev Gospel

Image via Wikipedia

This is submitted to Big Tent Poetry. This week’s prompt was a wordle with what seemed to me to be a most unlikely assortment of words. This was what came up for me although, granted, there were no boiler rooms in the time of Christ–that one was a stretch although, if you’ve ever been in a boiler room it is a bit reminiscent of hell. The one word I could not make happen was forklift!

Check out some great poetry for the prompt at:  http://bigtentpoetry.org/

 

 

The Gospel According to St. John

Time passed slowly that afternoon.
Blood flowed like lava into my cupped hand.

The man who hung upon a rough hewn tree
should have reigned over lush gardens of creation.

The night before I’d struggled to remain awake,
but now I stood by the mother until he passed

into the boiler room of hell. We remained there
to receive his body, returned it to the earth,

sealed the tomb with the clunk of a massive boulder.
After the Sabbath, the Phoenix resurfaced from the ash-pit.

Now I write his story, dipping the nib of my pen
in the sanguine ink of eternal mysteries.