I decided I have to firm up what I'm doing for my Advent practice. There is some urgency here....I mean it's day three! And it's not like Lent where we have forty days to figure this thing out. I thought about the Exercises....but the book came and I paged through and it's "not now" clearly in my heart....this is not the season. Perhaps I will have my own little season for that, but not this one. It needs more time than I can give now for one thing, and it is not quite in sync somehow. So what I have so far is yoga every morning to Taize instrumental. I'm finding this quite wonderful as it turns the practice to body prayer while it makes me more graceful in my practice on many levels. It also turns the braintalk to the words of the hymns. So if I have to have words in my head...which sometimes I just do....they are good ones to have. Then it's Morning Prayer with special attention to the lectionary readings of Isaiah who seems to have incredible relevance and immediacy. The other end of the day is time spent with Bonhoeffer in Discipleship. We are moving very slowly with him in Soul Sisters, and I think I may still be his biggest fan at this point. I am finding him more challenging as we move further into the book. The first chapter slid in rather effortlessly and I was going for it from there. And now it's read, read, and re-read sometimes, and even then I am not sure I really know what he means to say. But even so, stretched out to grasp, I say "oh, yes!" to his thoughts. It's a funny sensation, like holding these two things in my peripheral mind's eye. If I see one clearly I cannot see the other. I glance back and forth between them at warp speed, trying to hold the image of the first long enough to super-impose it on the second so the whole picture emerges. Theological mental gymnastics, indeed! I want to get him, long to, because I know he has something to say to me. His life speaks to me, and what he says, when I do grasp it, makes sense and contextualizes things in a way that I have not experienced since de Chardin rescued me at age sixteen from the bookkeeper God of my parochial upbringing and gave me the Stillpoint and the God who is endless.
So perhaps I do have enough going for Advent...body, mind, spirit...oh and the heart as well seems to have her own Advent waiting and anticipation going on. As far as the outside world, we have Gospel Based Discipleship Bible study every week now, and rehearsal for our beautiful lessons and carols every Saturday. So I have the songs in my head, and on every CD player I own. I preach Advent 3 and am thinking ahead to that....luck of the draw I get the Magnificat! That and John and Isaiah to preach on....we could be there all day! The greens are hung at church and at home, and it does feel lovely and anticipatory. The song from West Side Story just flashed through my head....
Could be! Who knows?
There's something due any day;
I will know right away, Soon as it shows.
It may come cannonballing down through the sky,
Gleam in its eye, Bright as a rose! Who knows?
It's only just out of reach, Down the block, on a beach, Under a tree.
I got a feeling there's a miracle due, Gonna come true,
Coming to me! Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something's coming, something good, If I can wait!
Something's coming, I don't know what it is,
But it is Gonna be great! With a click, with a shock,
Phone'll jingle, door'll knock, Open the latch!
Something's coming, don't know when, but it's soon;
Catch the moon, One-handed catch!
Around the corner, Or whistling down the river,
Come on, deliver To me! Will it be? Yes, it will.
Maybe just by holding still, It'll be there!
Come on, something, come on in, don't be shy,
Meet a guy, Pull up a chair!
The air is humming, And something great is coming!
Who knows? It's only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach, Maybe tonight . . .
It's Advent in God's world and anything can happen. I'll keep you posted.