Saturday, December 24, 2011

Things I’ve Been Pondering During Advent 2011

Since December 1 I have been posting each day on Facebook a "thing I'm pondering during Advent." Here is the entire list:

1. How only God could make me capable of containing all the grace I've received in my life.

2. The great distance--still--between who I am and who God is calling and forming me to be.

3. How, because Jesus comes to us, our love should always be expanding and never contracting.

4. How Jesus comes to us in the interruptions.

5. How the flame of the Advent candles reminds us that Christ is the Light that dispels the darkness--and how we who follow him are to reflect that light.

6. The opportunities we have to live, to love, and to serve while we wait.

7. How being ready is an every moment, every thought, every motive, every word, every action thing.

8. How waiting should inspire doing something rather than doing nothing.

9. How Christians should replace "shop 'til you drop" with "give 'til you live.”

10. If we're not careful we'll be so focused on what God is going to do one day that we miss what God is doing on this day.

11. How the Lord comes to our world, to the Church, and to individuals in the most unexpected, surprising, and challenging ways.

12. How we need to practice quietness so that we can develop a perpetually quiet place in our spirit where we can hear God when God comes to us in the still small voice.

13. The miracle of God's coming to us in the proclamation of the Word.

14. How our Lord graciously comes to us in the Eucharist.

15. The ways in which I am and am not willing to say, when Christ comes to me, "I am the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”

16. Beginnings, endings, and all the living in between.

17. How, if we're not careful, we'll spend so much time and energy looking back to the day when Jesus quietly entered the world's door and forward to the day when Jesus will knock down the world's door we'll fail to notice how he patiently on this day stands at the world's door and knocks.

18. How unfortunate it is that one can get so busy during Advent that he falls two days behind on posting his daily "Things I'm pondering this Advent" Facebook status update series to which he committed himself at the beginning of the Advent season.

19. All of those who once waited with me who are now waiting for me.

20. How every day is a new opportunity to live in light of the reality that God is with us.

21. How dangerously misguided it is, considering the surprising and unexpected way in which Jesus came the first time, to assume that we know much at all about the way he will come the second time.

22. How, given that the first coming of Jesus Christ upset the status quo, challenged the prevailing power structures, and upset religious convention, his comings to us in these days should bring about more of the same than they seem to do.

23. If Jesus Christ has truly come to even most of the 2.1 billion professing Christians in the world, then how can there still be in this world in which we Christians live 925 million hungry people, 3 billion people in poverty, 22,000 children dying each day because of poverty, a billion illiterate people, 1.1 billion people having inadequate access to water, 2.6 billion lacking basic sanitation, and 1.5 billion people living in countries affected by violent conflicts?

24. The wonderful mystery and mysterious wonder of it all…

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