Christian hope is grounded in our ability to imagine the life God offers us and desires us to participate in. A life …
Where love is the commandment, the law, the central animating reality
Where all have more than enough to eat and live
Where those excluded are included
Where justice, mercy and compassion flourish
Where the last are first
Where the blind see and the lame walk
Where forgiveness is offered endlessly
Where the long-awaited Messiah comes among us as a newborn baby, born to a homeless teenage couple whose circumstances do not comply with social norms …
What are the other gospel imperatives revealed by Jesus that grab your heart, that touch into your desires and longing. Take a moment to recall them and imagine the future full of hope and promise they call us to.
We have just begun the season of Advent. The season of longing and waiting. The season of hope and promise. The season of dwelling and nesting that ushers in birth. The season where we rest in the desires and longings of God and attune our desires and longings, our hearts and minds to God so that our lives echo with the sounds of divine love.
In the scriptures we will hear God inviting us to
Refashion our actions
Listen to voices crying in the wilderness
Prepare the way of the Lord
Strengthen weary hands
As we begin our Advent journey what are you imagining? What are you dreaming? What is the source of your hopes and longings? What do you want to change?
I love the Isaiah images. Two of my favourites include:
The image of God’s people hammering their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles. (Is 2:41)
The wolf lives with the lamb, the panther lies down with the kid, calf and lion cub feed together with a little boy to lead them. The cow and the bear make friends, their young lie down together. The lion eats straw like the ox. The infant plays over the cobra's hole; into the viper's lair the young child puts his hand. They do no hurt, no harm, on all my holy mountain, for the country is filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters swell the sea. (Is 10:6-9)
They lead me to imagine:
- My ‘swords’ and ‘spears’ and the change I need to make to shape my actions and resources to nurture the reign of God here and now
- My community, our communities, our families, our church where our differences no longer wielded threats and death dealing opposition but rather peace, respect and fullness of life for all.
I love Advent. I hope we all can engage in a deep listening that leads us into the longings, desires and imaginings of God. I hope together, we will be able to make straight our paths so the love of God will be born in us and amongst us this Christmas.
Wishing you and your families every blessing – of peace and joy, love and hope, Louise
Image by S. Hermann / F. Richter from Pixabay
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