#open


For Advent this year I’m participating in the #AdventWord project from Anglican Communion’s Global Advent Calendar with a daily meditation on the word for the day.

If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. – James 2:15-17

Open our hearts.

Open our minds.

Open our homes.

Open our wallets.

#trust


For Advent this year I’m participating in the #AdventWord project from Anglican Communion’s Global Advent Calendar with a daily meditation on the word for the day.

I feel like the words are getting harder as Advent progresses. In the year 2017, the concept of trust is a challenging one. Even if you were already cynical, over the past couple of years politicians, business executives, and celebrities have shown us the types of things humans think they can get away with and do get away with. It’s hard to trust anyone at all. In Advent, were called to show our trust in God, but in a world where evil always triumphs its increasingly hard to do.

#wilderness


For Advent this year I’m participating in the #AdventWord project from Anglican Communion’s Global Advent Calendar with a daily meditation on the word for the day.

It’s hard to find wilderness in the city. Really, true wilderness is hard to find anywhere in the country. Wilderness is contained in green belts and parks. Humans have created and maintained forests, rerouted rivers, and realigned mountains.

At the time the scriptures were written and as recently as a century ago, the wilderness was a place that was feared. Being in the wilderness meant being among wild animals, separated from the safety of one’s fellow human beings, at risk of being robbed or killed by outsiders. Today, we think wild animals should have a place of their own, and fear crime more in the cities.

Today a voice crying out in the wilderness would still not be heard. No less than the voices of the poor, the vulnerable, the oppressed that are ignored and silenced. Perhaps that is where we will find our “wilderness “ today.

#voice


For Advent this year I’m participating in the #AdventWord project from Anglican Communion’s Global Advent Calendar with a daily meditation on the word for the day.

“Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind – even if your voice shakes.” – Maggie Kuhn

Sculpture: Presence, 1984-1986 by Mary Frank

#watch


For Advent this year I’m participating in the #AdventWord project from Anglican Communion’s Global Advent Calendar with a daily meditation on the word for the day.

#watch #adventword

“You better watch out…”

“1,2,3! Eyes on me!”

“If you see something, say something.”

The eyes of Dr. T.J Eckleburg.

“All along the watchtower/Princes kept their view.”

“Alwaaaaaays watching…”

Is it just me or is there something ominous about the word “watch” especially in the context of meditating on Advent. There’s an undertone of the surveillance state to this season. Someone’s watching – God, Santa, the cookies on your Amazon.com account.

Perhaps it’s a time to be the watcher, to focus your attention on what’s most important.

Keep your eyes on the prize.

#Prepare


For Advent this year I’m participating in the #AdventWord project from Anglican Communion’s Global Advent Calendar with a daily meditation on the word for the day.

Yesterday we purchased a fragrant fir and put it in our living room.

The lights and the ornaments are on the tree.

Stockings are hung from an archway (urban apartments have no chimneys).

When I was a kid we always made these preparations for Christmas in mid-December and we keep to that tradition today. Unlike the contemporary rush to get everything up at Thanksgiving – or earlier – and then tossing everything on the curb on December 26.

I prefer to ease into Christmas, taking some time to open my heart before opening gifts, and then wallowing in the long Christmas that follows.

#Focus


For Advent this year I’m participating in the #AdventWord project from Anglican Communion’s Global Advent Calendar with a daily meditation on the word for the day.

Over the past year, I’ve been learning to use my SLR camera.  An important aspect of photography is focus.  Not just that the photograph be “in-focus,” but where one puts the focus.  One can take several photos of the same exact thing with the focus on the subject, the focus on the background, the focus on the foreground, or no focus at all, and the photos will each tell a very different story.  Focus is an aspect of the news today as the focus is often on celebrity, scandal, and wealth. These foci often blur out the full story of the poverty and suffering of the everyday people.  I’m getting all metaphorical again, but focus applies to our everyday lives as well.  Do we focus on the bad and obscure the good?  Do we focus on our own selfish needs and ignore the suffering of others?  What stories do we tell ourselves and how do they change when we change the focus? And what is the story of this banana and reflected light?