And at some point, the wind changed, blown by God’s spirit. After my years of silence, I finally have things to say, and I am not holding back. The strangest thing is that now when I call my people a brood of vipers they listen, they nod, they can’t get enough of it.
If you had told us even a year ago that Jon would be a ‘professional’ artist, and an expert on art history, we would have been very surprised. I love that after even so many years we are discovering new talents to celebrate in one another (my writing was a similar surprise to us both) as our lives bend and shift together.
The people think, of course, that nothing will happen. They think because they are rich, they are safe. They have no idea how quickly things can turn around, how speedily their world can implode.
She is my hero, because, like Job, she endures. We admire those who climb mountains and endure freezing temperatures, and history applauds them. But where are the records and awards for those who climb mountains of pain and isolation, day after day, for decades?
I laughed, but I wanted to punch someone. I wanted to say to God’s messenger, “You have a pretty sick sense of humour. It has been too long. It’s over. You can’t just keep promising things when we both know it is never going to happen. Stop lying to me.”
I am wondering: do the possessions we own turn us into bloated Christians? I am slim in body, but obese in possessions – and I wonder what subtle effect this has on my spiritual life. Every time I look at a catalogue for present ideas for other people (which naturally turns into a list of things you might like for yourself), I feel like I am stuffing after-dinner mints into my face after a very large meal.
This group of women became the hands and feet of Jesus to me. I realized I didn’t have to try so hard. I didn’t have to strive. There was nothing for me to do because God had already done all the hard work. My life hadn’t been working because I was trying to do what only Jesus could have done.
Advent means ‘coming’. We tend to think of Advent as preparing for Christmas (ie preparing for remembering Jesus’ first coming), but traditionally the focus was on preparing our hearts for Jesus’ second coming.
Here are some ways you can mark Advent and prepare thoughtfully for Christmas: