From The Very Rev. Kristina Maulden
Preparing the Way
The first week of Advent is almost over. I hope you have had a moment to slow down and spend some time pondering this time of expectancy and hope. I have been sharing on social media meditations on the words provided by #AdventWord. Adventword was begun by the Society of St. John the Evangelist 8 years ago and is now maintained by Forward Movement. Each day of Advent we have a word to reflect on through scripture, meditation or photos. Since not everyone is a social media follower, I thought I would catch you up on the week.
Our journey through Advent began on Sunday, November 28th with the word “Promise.” Think on the many dimensions of God’s promises to us: faithfulness, solace, forgiveness and so much more! Think of how you have kept or broken promises. If you have people who have broken promises to you, intentionally forgive them. Relationships are made stronger by promises kept!
Monday’s word was “Strength.” Where do you find your spirit strengthened? Who are those who have lent their strength to you? Has God been a part of your resources and your resolve? Many people over the ages have compared God to fortresses, or rocks, or other enduring edifices. Relying on God’s strength takes trust and a bit of faith. How has God been like a rock for you?
Tuesday’s word was “Soul.” Consider all that surrounds you. Name the people and activities that feed your soul. During Advent, it is so good to spend time with those people, doing those things! Is your soul fed through prayer and worship? What about taking a walk surrounded by the beauty of creation? Does serving others connect you more to the center of your being? Or is it gardening or creating or eating together?
Wednesday’s word was “Path.” Each of us is on a path leading somewhere. Hopefully, the destination is on some level, a deeper connection to God. Think about the many places where you have been throughout your life. What paths did you follow that brought you good things like understanding, wisdom, knowledge for life, healthy relationships, self awareness, and/or skills for the journey?
Thursday’s word was “Justice.” From Isaiah we hear: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” Who are those in your life who need justice? How do we as a community help those who have been denied justice? Does this word make you uncomfortable? Why? Sit with it and the discomfort. God may be nudging you to step out on behalf of the powerless or those without a voice.
Friday’s word is “Fulfill.”Jesus says about the law: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Jesus took the law, which led to death if not obeyed and made it instead a way of life. All of it summed up in this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. And, love your neighbor as yourself. Whenever we move to do this, we are fulfilling God’s law. Where is God calling you to love God more and to love all your neighbors more fully?