Sunday, November 29, 2015

The End is Always Near
First Sunday of Advent 2015, from the Underside
Kintsugi Meditations for a Broken World 

Luke 21: 25-28:  “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

This is not an easy passage to preach, especially, when those in the pew are still recovering from a weekend of turkey coma, Black Friday shopping, initial Christmas decorating  and surviving annual visits with extended family. Hope is the liturgical theme for the first Sunday of Advent, but picture of hope here in Luke’s gospel is in the midst of distressing times filled with bleak struggle and fear. Not kind of thing we want bouncing around in our minds when we’re trying to pick out the fullest and most symmetrical White Pine on Boy Scout Troop 108’s lot before we head home to football on the couch….

But they are powerful words of hope for these days. Even on the couch in our own living rooms, we cannot avoid the intrusion of violence, and death, refugees and protests, a nation divided over race and power, privilege and the absence of hope. Human life is always filled with destruction and violence, Luke and, our difficult times lived early in the digital-age of perpetual news cycle sources all around us, simply call a reality, most of us do our best to avoid, into sharp focus. Luke’s assurance, is exactly what  we are needing to hear: when things seem the most hopeless, our redemption, our hope, is drawing near.

What can we do? The passage makes it clear, we are not to turn away, of faith with fear and foreboding. We are to raise up, to take a stand, to open our hears and lives to the hope that is our faith, to seek to draw near to our Redeemer even as he is drawing near to us.
What will you do this Advent to draw closer to our Redeemer, to be the light of Hope in the darkness of our world?  

Kintsugi Meditation for the First Sunday of Advent:

Invite Jesus, our Redeemer, to be present with you. Call to your mind’s eye an image that speaks to you of Jesus’ love and protection, grace and hope.

Focus on your breath, sit silently, allow Jesus’ love and protection, grace and hope to fill you. 

Relax. Relax. Relax. Pray the Holy Spirit guide you and open your heart to the Still Small Voice during this sacred time.   

Pray Jesus keep you safe, well, happy and peaceful.

Ask Jesus to keep you safe, to keep your heart safely within his own heart, to keep your mind safely within his wisdom. Pray that Jesus keep you safe.

Pausing….. Focus on your breath.

Pray Jesus keep you well. That he would keep you from times of trial, from the despairs of suffering and grief, from the grasping for false idols in anxiety and fear. May Jesus keep me well.  

Pausing….. Focus on your breath.

Pray Jesus open you to happiness, that he open your heart and mind to the truth of your own divine wonder and awe, knit into you in the womb of your mother. Ask that you know the joy of living your birthright, the authenticity of the blessed beauty of who you were created to be.

Pausing….. Focus on your breath.

Pray that Jesus grant you the peace that surpasses all human understanding, that your heart and mind, that your entire being is so joined with his love and forgiveness that you are not dependent on the things or situations of this word for peace, hope and joy, but on Him.

Pausing….. Focus on your breath.

A brief prayer of gratitude for this time…. Our Father…. Amen. 
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