Richard Rohr – First Sunday of Advent – Darkness

Advent [meaning “coming”], to the Church Fathers, was the right naming of the season when light and life are fading. They urged the faithful to set aside four weeks to fast, give, and pray—all ways to strip down, to let the bared soul recall what it knows beneath its fear of the dark, to know what Jesus called “the one thing necessary”: that there is One who is the source of all life, One who comes to be with us and in us, even, especially, in darkness and death. One who brings a new beginning. —Gayle Boss [1]

I hope it isn’t difficult to understand why I’m beginning the Advent season reflecting on darkness. [2] I’m not trying to be a spoilsport, but once Thanksgiving is over, we in the United States are rushed headlong into the Christmas season. Yet Advent was once (and still can be) a time of waiting, a time of hoping without knowing, a time of emptying so that we can be filled by the divine Presence. Though you may be wrapping gifts, planning special meals, and spending time with family and friends, I hope you will also take time to allow the Advent darkness to do its work as well. 

Not knowing or uncertainty is a kind of darkness that many people find unbearable. Those who demand certitude out of life will insist on it even if it doesn’t fit the facts. Logic and truth have nothing to do with it. If you require certitude, you will surround yourself with your own conclusions and dismiss or ignore any evidence to the contrary.

The very meaning of faith stands in stark contrast to this mindset. We have to live in exquisite, terrible humility before reality. In this space, God gives us a spirit of questing, a desire for understanding. In some ways it is like learning to “see in the dark.” We can’t be certain of what’s in front of us, but with some time and patience, our eyes adjust, and we can make the next right move.

The Gospel doesn’t promise us complete clarity. If God wanted us to have irrefutable proof, the incarnation of Jesus would have been delayed until technology and science could confirm it.Scriptures do not offer rational certitude. They offer us something much better, an entirely different way of knowing: an intimate relationship, a dark journey, a path where we must discover for ourselves that grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness are absolutely necessary for survival in an uncertain world. You only need enough clarity to know how to live without certitude! Yes, we really are saved by faith. People who live in this way never stop growing, are not easily defeated, are wise and compassionate, and frankly, are fun to live with. They have a quiet and confident joy. Infantile religion insists on certainty every step of the way and thus is not very happy.

[1] Gayle Boss, All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings, illus. by David G. Klein (Paraclete Press: 2016), xi-xii.

[2] For those readers unfamiliar with the Christian liturgical calendar, Advent is the period of four Sundays before Christmas. It is intended to be a time of preparation, through prayer and reflection, on the coming of Christ at the Nativity (Christmas), in worship and community today, and at the end times.

Adapted from Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (Whitaker House: 2016), 100-101; and

Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2009), 120.

A Prayer for Rachel Held Evans

Rachel Held Evans

Almighty God,

we grieve the loss of Rachel and we pray for her family,
and so we remember before you today your faithful servant Rachel;

and we pray that, having opened to her the gates of eternal life,
you will receive her more and more into your joyful service,

that, with all who have faithfully served you in the past,
she may share in the eternal victory of Jesus Christ our Lord;

who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

BCP (edited by Scot McKnight)

3rd Sunday of Advent – Joy


ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now ever. Amen.

(source, here)

1st Sunday of Advent

advent-one-candle
Copyright: hraska / 123RF Stock Photo

A Prayer for the 1st Sunday of Advent

Good and gracious God,

It is never easy to wait…
that may be
why Advent
is so hard for us.

But Loving God,
it is not so hard for you.

You wait for us
to turn from our old ways
toward the life you desire for us.

You wait for us
to admit what we have done,
and what we have failed to do,
so we might be freed
toward the life you know
we can have here on Earth.

But our fears and our failures
get in the way.

We lose sight of hope
and find ourselves
stuck in what we see
as impossibilities.

We lose sight of joy
and wallow in
what is wrong.

We lose sight of love
and focus on the things
that frustrate and anger us.

We lose sight of peace
and bind ourselves up
in the things that divide us.

This Advent season
give us pause to rest,
to wait,
to be still
and know that you are God.

Lend us perspective
this Advent
and call us back to be the people
you created us to be.

As we wait
for Hope Come Down
may we learn to practice hopefulness
and may that hopefulness
teach us to fear less
and love more.

May it strengthen us
and encourage us
as we ourselves
strive to be a people of hope
in a far too fearful world.

Amen.

(Source, HERE)

IX. Crezul creștin – Biserica

Teologul Danut Jemna se apropie de finalul seriei lui de scurte meditatii despre crez, abordind in aceasta tema Bisericii.

via IX. Crezul creștin – Biserica

VIII. Crezul creștin – Persoana și iconomia Duhului Sfânt

Comentariul teologului protestant Danut Jemna la Crez abordeaza aici sectiunea de pneumatologie a textului patristic sinodal.

via VIII. Crezul creștin – Persoana și iconomia Duhului Sfânt

VII. Crezul creștin – Kenoza Fiului lui Dumnezeu și iconomia crucii

Aceasta noua meditatie cristologica continua seria de comentarii ale dr. Danut Jemna pe tema Crezului.

via VII. Crezul creștin – Kenoza Fiului lui Dumnezeu și iconomia crucii