Monday, December 18, 2006

A multi-faith weekend: Third Sunday in Advent and Second Night of Hanukkah

So, first there was Saturday, and it was the second night of Hanukkah, and we lit some candles. See pictures. Neither The Girl nor I are great at taking photos (although I'm sure you can guess which one I took, given that it's all blurry and you can't even see the menorah). The first one is clearer, through the joys of flash photography, but I like that you can see the lit-up Christmas tree in the other one. :)

Then yesterday was the Third Sunday in Advent. I really like my excitingly new, Anglo-Catholic church. The priest and I are going to have coffee sometime. The third candle on the Advent ring is for John the Baptist. He was a good guy. In response to which: May God bless all the prophets of - and on the edges of - today's Church, especially the ones who call us out of our comfort zones of easy belief or faith without actions.

But even after all that I still hadn't had enough religion, so I went to the annual LGCM carol service. It was nice, although lacking - something. Maybe I was too achy and tired to enjoy it properly. I am not exactly getting into the Christmas spirit at the moment. And really, why should I be? No, I am not happy about particular aspects of life at the moment (as much as I am aware of how blessed I am). I won't pretend differently just to make people feel better. I don't think there's anything wrong, anything 'sinful', about admitting that I'm stressed out, tired, in pain and generally sick of being sick. It's Advent, you see, a time of year that has always struck a chord with me, and it's about so much more than counting the days and putting up the decorations. It's about waiting, listening, wondering. Expecting hope - whether it arrives or not.

Although, with God, it always does.

"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." - Luke 1:38

Mary responded,
"Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me."
- Luke 1:46-49


Anonymous said...

I bet Mary, despite feeling blessed, also felt rather a lot of grouch too, what with the pregnancy, and stable, and lack of morphine!
Blessed or no, chosen or no, we are still flesh and blood ~grin~

Naomi J. said...

Absolutely! That's sort of my point. That tension between being a human and a spiritual being is what my faith is all about. Good stuff, that. :)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is not something that can be reconciled, and perhaps it is not "supposed" to be. If one is questioning, one is thinking, well there is a lot of value in that.
Good stuff indeed :D