Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent "Journey to Jesus" Begins

We begin our Advent "Journey to Jesus" with a DREAM.  In Matthew's gospel, Joseph was going to dismiss Mary quietly for becoming pregnant by someone other than him.  That was the good and "righteous" thing to do.  It was also compassionate.  No one could fault Joseph.

But then Joseph had a DREAM.  And, as dreams do, it called upon him to have a bigger vision of the future.  Don't dismiss Mary quietly, even though that is a good and proper thing to do.  Marry her! Joseph's dream invited him to be part of God's plan and purposes.  Joseph's dream invited him to rise even higher than being a "righteous" man. Joseph's dream asked him to give up fear and take up the courage to believe something greater was going on and he could be part of it.  God is coming to live among us and Joseph, because he paid attention to his dream, got to be part of that good news of great joy to all the people.

Advent is a time to get in touch with your dreams.  It is is time to focus on what really matters; a time to deepen awareness of God in our midst - among us - and to live faithfully to that awareness.  December can be fraught with a flurry of activity and shopping and commercials and glitter and lights that direct our focus on things that do not bring abundant life.  This time leading up to "Christmas" in the commercial sense can leave Jesus and the meaning of his birth lost.  It's like the picture.  "Where's Jesus"?  (Based on the "Where's Waldo" books)  In order to "find" Jesus, or make room in our lives and hearts for Jesus, or to stay true to the "reason for the season," I want you to ponder these questions:

  • What is God's dream?
  • What is God's dream for me?
  • What fears hold me back?
  • How can I bring good news of great joy in my daily life?
  • How can I give gifts that honor the spirit and meaning of Jesus' birth?
  • How will Christ be born in me this season?
Maybe you want to keep an Advent journal of your thoughts and reflections on these and other questions.  You may also want to use the Advent Prayer Calendar to guide you in an intentional way.  Feel free to respond to these questions or post your own.  Blessings to all on the journey!

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