A post I wrote this week for American Public Media’s OnBeing blog:
Advent is my kind of season.
Not the pseudo-Advent of most Christian piety (liturgically-correct texts and hymns on the Sundays of the season and full-on Christmas hoopla all the other days). No, not that Advent but this one: the ancient, autumnal interval of darkness and foreboding with its achy uncertainty blanketing landscapes both inner and outer. This Advent offers room for doubt and struggle; it grants permission to rest in — rather than to resolve — the tensions and paradoxes, the sometimes maddening contradictions that shape the life of discipleship.
We read the appointed texts for the Sundays of Advent and they are startling in their bleakness, their familiarity inuring us to meanings inscrutable, ominous, perilous. (Unless we subscribe to the Left Behind school of hermeneutics, in which liturgical Advent doesn’t exist and these texts are never bad news for us).
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