Here is some mid-week meditation during the season of Advent.
The Second and Third Sundays are about John the Baptist.
1:1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
1:2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way;
1:3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'”
1:4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
1:5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
1:6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
1:7 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.
1:8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
It is true that going out on to the street implies the risk of accidents happening, as they would to any ordinary man or woman. But if the Church stays wrapped up in itself, it will age. And if I had to choose between a wounded Church that goes out on to the streets and a sick, withdrawn Church, I would definitely choose the first one.
Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it, because he is out of place in it, and yet he must be in it, his place is with those others who do not belong, who are rejected by power, because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, tortured, exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world.
Source: Watch for the Light
Assent to Dying
Death is the prerequisite for the experience of resurrection and the new freedom it brings. At some level, in some way, perhaps far beyond our conscious awareness, we must first assent to dying. Resurrection—the emergence of new consciousness—is an awakening to the unknown, and just as with any other experience of life that is unknown, it can be frightening. We intuitively know that everything has changed, and if we are the kind of person who is attached to safety and comfort, we will feel overwhelmed.
Source: Field of Compassion
When They Sleep
All people are children when they sleep.
There’s no war in them then.
They open their hands and breathe
in that quiet rhythm heaven has given them.
They pucker their lips like small children
and open their hands halfway,
soldiers and statesmen, servants and masters.
The stars stand guard
and a haze veils the sky,
a few hours when no one will do anybody harm.
If only we could speak to one another then
when our hearts are half-open flowers.
Words like golden bees
would drift in.
— God, teach me the language of sleep.
~ Rolf Jacobsen ~