This was the year I finally got myself onto facebook, primarily to keep in touch with my now-teenage kids. Once there, however, I found myself reconnecting with many long-lost friends, and the time spent renewing old friendships has come at the cost of time for blogging.
Anyway, over the past week, I have begun posting daily Advent reflections on my facebook page, and I thought I ought to cross-post them here.
In the Christian liturgical year, Advent is the season of deepest darkness in which the fallen world waits for God to renew the earth with the arrival of his presence, glory and redemption. It is a season of reflection, waiting and hope. Historically, of course, the actual date of Jesus' birth was not known, so the early Church fathers chose to celebrate it at the time of the winter solstice, when other religions celebrated a similar theme of new light emerging from darkness. In that perspective, I see the Advent tradition for UUs not as an idiosyncratic and historically inaccurate superstitious remnant of a repudiated religion, but rather, as the specific cultural idiom by which one culture, our culture, expresses a universal human hope for the breaking forth of more light upon the whole earth -- literally, spiritually, and figuratively. That being the case, I have tried to find complementary thematic selections from a broad selection of cultural sources.
Here are the ones I have posted so far:
Monday: "Hatred was never extinguished by hatred. Only love can extinguish hatred; this is an eternal truth." Dhammapada 1:5
Tuesday: "None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself." Hadith 13 of al-Nawawi
Wednesday: "Thus the master lifts up everyone and abandons no one. He is ready to use any situation and wastes nothing. This is called embodying the light." Tao Te Ching 27
"For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
Seem here no painful inch to gain,
Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
Comes silent, flooding in, the main."
Arthur Hugh Clough
Today: "There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men." Black Elk