Julie led us this Sunday – having had to save what was prepared for last week, when heavy rain necessitated a short time together (We cannot meet under the bandstand while we are socially distancing at present!)
She shared her wrestlings with the concept of obedience and played a song ‘The burden is light’ from Jacob Cuevas’s album ‘Fear not’
We took 15 minutes with lit candle to wander and reflect, then, on our own responses to the word obedience, reading about Mary’s response to Gabriel’s annunciation and Jesus’s incarnation and later in the Garden of Gethsemane… Focusing on the following:
What is our own relationship with obedience? We often think of Advent as waiting and preparing for the coming of Jesus -but Jesus has already come. Is Advent more about Jesus waiting for us to come for our awakening? What are our blockages? What keeps us from receiving God? What gets in the way of our obedience? Do we misunderstand what obedience means? Do we mistake it for obligation, duty or a joyless trying to prove our worthiness, rather than an ‘awakening’ and ‘abandonment’? What stops us just jumping in?
On our return we shared bread and wine, as always, with the following words:
Prepare us for your coming.
Save us from the complacency
And familiarity that can grow in us with this great festival.
Save us from going through the motions,
The cherished traditions,
The joyful celebrations,
Without seeing or understanding
The implications of your birth among us.
Here in this Bread and Wine,
Help us to know the full extent of what if meant for you to take our flesh,
To live our life,
To suffer our fate.
Awaken us and our sleepy world.
We are not ready to receive you.
Our house is not in order,
The naked are not all clothed,
Neither are the hungry all fed.
Many are still imprisoned
And the poor do not hear good news.
Stir us Lord,
So that we may greet you
As servants who cannot wait for the time to come
When you reign with justice,
Heal our conflicts,
Forgive our failures
And show us the way that leads to peace.
(From New Eden Ministry)
Finally, a blessing from words by Meister Eckhart (surely a message to be taken into the coming year)
‘We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself? And what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace, if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son, if I do not also give birth to him in my time and culture? This, then, is the fullness of time: When the Son of Man is begotten in us’
Much to ponder and wonderful words – thanks so much Julie.