Synchroblog: Expanding Our Experience in the Advent Journey

Something is coming! And someone has come! And all this will continue...

This month's Synchroblog is about the journey of advent, as we enter this season once again.

Advent is the dawn of a journey that leads us not only to Bethlehem but potentially to a new understanding of our relationship to God and his beloved creation. Share your thoughts about the journey of advent during this inspirational season. 

Growing up in non-liturgical churches, for me the advent season manifested as a calendar with chocolates hidden behind each day's door.

Over the last few years, I have participated through the United Methodist Book of Worship.  This season, I look forward to experiencing Episcopal liturgies.

What has struck me more in recent years is how we cyclically repeat the anticipation of the one who has already come.  We enter into a time and space that is no longer linear - participating in the angst and hardship and sorrow of the world before the advent of Christ.

But Christ did not begin in Nazareth, two thousand years ago.  Christ has been, from the beginning.

Today, creation still groans, experiencing the tragedy of ongoing sorrow.  Jesus didn't bring an end to suffering.  But with his birth, birthed hope.  The one who came has come, and continues to come, and through us, may be manifested in our broken, beautiful world.

*     *     *

I heard a Russian Orthodox priest explain icons last year: worshipping in the presence of these images  reminds us that we are literally in communion with all of the saints who have come before us.  As we pray, we pray with them.  As we fellowship, we fellowship with them.

In a similar way, British author and Inkling Charles Williams used the term coinherence to describe a number of spiritual phenomena, including ways in which human beings are connected spiritually, across geographic distances, and time (including beyond the boundaries of death).

As we participate in various advent liturgies (from attending services at our churches, to opening the Starbucks Advent Calendar) I suggest we explore ways of spiritually connecting with the saints who have come before us, with St. Mary, Mother of God, with St. Anthony, St. John Chrysostom, St. Theresa Avila and countless others... then let us look forward, praying for (and with) all of the saints yet to be born.

Don't let my use of the word "saint" limit you to an exclusively Christian endeavor.  May we share communion with all of humanity, where God is at work everywhere - among us and in us - through all of time.

Don't miss the other participants in this month's Synchroblog!

  • John C. O’Keefe – The Season of Adventure
  • George at The Love Revolution – The Weak Ghosts of Advent
  • Peter at Emerging Christian – Expanding Our Experience of the Advent Journey
  • Beth at Beth – Experiencing Advent With A Toddler
  • Alan at The Assembling Of The Church – Walking Through Advent Today
  • Steve at Emergent Kiwi – Am I Traveling Well?
  • Wendy at View From The Bridge – Yearning For a Lived Theology
  • Annie at Marginal Theology – Limping Along
  • Christen at Greener Grass – Advent – Expecting and Un-Expecting
  • Jeff at My Adventures – Journeys and Destinations
  • kathy at carnival in my head – making room for the unexpected
  • Sonja at Calacirian – Road To Nowhere
  • Steve at Khanya – Advent Synchroblog
  • Beth at The Virtual Teahouse – Clear-Eyed Gaze of a Stranger
  • Phil at Square No More – O Antiphon #1 – This is the first of nine antiphones.  
  • Peggy at Abisomeone – Wandering With The Waiting Abbess
  • Cathryn at Love Fiercely – An Advent Prayer
  • HeySonnie at A Piece of My Mind – Christmas WILL Happen
  • Liz at Grace Rules – Advent – A Journey of Awakening

    Liz said...

    Peter - Great post. I love that you talk about the connection we have to the past, present and future - to all of God's creation. It reminds me of an essay that Barbara Brown Taylor wrote about Physics and Faith. Here's a post that her essay inspired me to write that you might enjoy in light of what you have written.

    Peter J Walker said...

    Awesome Liz - I dug that post. May we all dream "quantum dreams!" Thanks for the link!

    kathyescobar said...

    thanks for this, peter. i am glad you're part of the synchroblog. i, too, never really honored the season of advent in an intentional way until 4 years ago. i have come to love and appreciate the space and intention it provides and the power of connecting with the story with new textures. i really liked what you shared about "non traditional saints", too.

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