Friday, December 5, 2008

"What do you long for this advent? What are your hopes and dreams for the future? What is your prayer today?
In the vein of simplicity I ask you to list five advent longings...."

I don't know whether I am having trouble limiting myself to five longings or if I can't think of even one. Most of the time, it seems to me, there is no time to long for anything except perhaps an end to the busyness that is life for lots of us. But even when I do have time, I still don't think about what I long for the most. Well, not in a serious way.

I long for the end of division within my denomination. I don't understand it and it is taking so much time away from the proclamation of the good news and the work of the kingdom. It grieves me to hear us hurling labels and turning our backs on all of God's children in favor of a group that thinks and acts in a particular way.

I long for time with my children, time I don't seem to make any more than they do now that we are all adults and have very different lives taking us in many directions.

I long for the coming of the Christ, not because I need to see it in order to have my faith validated or rewarded - I naively said once that this was the one event that would convince me of faith (ah youth!) - but because I don't think humanity is ever going to get it right. I don't think we can conceive of life without war and poverty and bigotry. Only God can straighten out this mess that we have made again - history is full of stories of our predecessors who didn't do any better.

So my prayer is one of gratitude, a cry for peace and a plea for guidance in what or how I am supposed to play a part in making peace happen.

That's all I have today. It is my day off and I really don't have anything to do other than ponder the sermon for the early service on Sunday. I've built a fire in the fireplace and I'm going to stretch out on the sofa with my dogs and an Ivan Doig novel. Then I'm going to dinner with a friend and a concert afterwards. Right now, this day is probably what I long for most.

Peace to you all.

4 comments:

mompriest said...

Margaret, thanks for stopping by my blog and your comment regarding the demise of TEC....you may use it. Please reference Diana Butler Bass, "Christianity for the Rest of Us" (for the ideas around the Established church and the Voice of authority). I used various internet sources for "Modern and Post-Modern" thought like Wickipedia....and Jim Gettle (a church consultant from Wiscons)....as well as my own experience (you can cite me as "a colleague").

Shalom said...

Thank you for your comments on my blog. Peace to you, in your longings (and enjoy the book!).

chartreuseova said...

A fire, dogs on the sofa, a book, dinner with a friend and a concert. Sounds like the perfect day. Enjoy!

Ray Flanary said...

Okay, this is complicated but you asked us the following:

"What do you long for this advent?

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

What is your prayer today?

In the vein of simplicity I ask you to list five advent longings...."

Well, I have two sets of longings for advent and for my future in general. There are those desires for myself and then there are desires for others. For myself, for advent, I long for acceptance into a Ph.D. program with funding, a well paying job for the short term until I can start my Ph.D. program, good health, personal peace in my life so that I can enjoy the present moment without all of the stress, and continued personal and spiritual growth so that I can continue a path of enlightenment and discovery.

For others, I wish peace in the world and for us to all start acting like human beings instead of illogical primitive savages. It is beyond me why people continue to kill each other in the name of religion and other reasons. We are greedy, selfish, destructive to others and the Earth. I wish happiness for my friends and family. It would be wonderful for us to become advanced not only in technology and science, but to be able to do it in a way that doesn't deplete the environment. We need to stop creating foods that are full of poisons and chemical garbage. We need to stop raping the earth in the name of progress and instead, find alternate ways of creating our modern lives that do not involve destruction, but a striving for balance with the environment. If we would stop our personal and social greed, and think more of the "larger" picture, I am certain that we could create a life that doesn't involve depletion and destruction. We should strive to develop alternate forms of transportation that do not pollute, generate electricity from the wind, sun, and the Earth itself without involving fossil fuels. We should stop using toxic chemicals in our building products that go in our homes and businesses.

Yes, I know I sound very Utopian in my ideals but I really feel that if we took responsibility (personal and social), this could be achieved. We should strive towards achieving a better educational system in which we raise the bar for our students and challenge them to strive for excellence instead of aiming for mediocrity.

It would be my desire to see people have compassion towards each other. We have created a "throw away" society in which we devalue each other, rape and pilage the Earth, and we are unappreciative. Let me emphasize the man who was trampled to death recently at Wal-Mart by greedy shoppers who were acting like cold savages. It would be nice to see people love each other and think more of others than they do themselves. Does this sound familiar? Well, it is a core value of many faiths. Isn't it a shame that we cannot practice this?

It would be my wish that no one be hungry. In this country of plenty, there is no excuse why we cannot feed, clothe and shelter all of our citizens. Also, universal health coverage? Insurance? It is a shame that we cannot provide adequate care.

Oh, I guess I could go on for pages about what I wish. I know you asked us to keep it short but I couldn't. Basically, I wish for universal peace, harmony, enlightenment, advancement in a responsible manner, and a world where people love instead of hate and destroy.