Sunday, November 30, 2008

first sunday in advent

Hey friends and fellow travelers, I just wanted to thank everyone for their candor tonight. I felt really connected to each and every story. Thank you for sharing your hopes and your struggles.

Here is a link to a post by Julie Clawson who lives in Austin, Texas. She is an insightful blogger, and I really appreciated her advent post. Excerpt:

...those magi following that star had a hard time of it. The journey was difficult. Unsure of exactly where they were going or what they would find when they arrived, they just knew they had to journey on. A distant star, days of toil, endless doubt and questions, ridicule and remorse - these defined their hope. But they didn’t settle for safety or that which confirmed what they already knew. They sought a miracle and that hope sustained their journey.


Matt said...

Thanks for the post and link Jamie. I am so grateful to be a part of this group and to share the journey with everyone. We've talked before about losing the handrails that help us feel safe, and I think God wants us to realize that he is the ONLY handrail we need. I don't think we really know where this is all going but I can sense that we all feel we're moving in the right direction. I think this is a little easier for me because I'm not from an institutional religous background, but it seems that everyone who breaks out of that system goes through some type of withdrawal. To make matters worse you get old "church" friends that don't understand what you're doing. I believe we are to be set apart and if that means set apart from Christendom so be it. I have never experienced fellowship like we have and every meeting I attend leaves me craving more. For those of you who feel lost or depressed remember that it is always darkest before the dawn. I know this sounds a little simplistic but KNOW that God loves you more than you can imagine and remain hopefull for the dawn

Jimbo said...

Jamie, I liked that post and hadn't given much thought to what the Magi might have gone thru.
I really appreciate what you said Matt.

Thorn-67 said...

Was it a "God Thing"?
I don't know...what I do know is that very shortly after my enthusiastic offer a few weeks ago to 'kick off' the First Sunday of Advent...I began to struggle with overwhelming feelings of doubt...depression...anger...resentment...panic...self loathing...God loathing and even EmDes loathing. (Sorry)
During a 'good' moment on Saturday, I had a great conversation with Kathy Escobar...regarding some creative expressions for Advent. At that moment I felt like I was a "go" for Sunday!
However...2 hours before group...I ran...choked...bailed...FREAKED-whatever! I dumped my issue on Jim (he was convenient!) as I had firmly decided at that moment I would spend the afternoon curled up in the 'fetal' my bedroom and just cry all alone to my sad pathetic self.
That was my plan at that moment. The arrival of two unexpected ‘new’ guests deferred my plan of a covert pity party for the time being. Instead, I was able to briefly focus on the intrigue of hosting new people. I later enjoyed learning that "Jimmy and Dave" were in fact friends of Ron and Sarah's…and NOT evangelical fundy spies. Cool.
I began to feel like I could actually "sit in" on our group...but no way in hell was I going to share!
My embarrassment waxed and my plans for a unique and creative Advent slipped away...But then...something unexpected happened. Someone bravely opened the flood gates of truth and emotion while sharing their story...shockingly similar to my own story and the tears that I try so diligently to conceal in front of people…were flowing (literally all over the head of the poor sweet little baby I was holding)
The First Sunday of Advent wasn't at all what I planned...but just like this journey I find myself in (or my life in general)...I am not really very surprised. What is provocative to me, is just how pivotal this recent group time was for so many of us. There was so much raw truth and honesty and understanding! Sure…lots of the same old familiar emotions were expressed...(despair, confusion, grief...anger...loss) but this in the traditional celebration of the first Sunday of Advent...something else was made manifest...more perfectly than I could have creatively constructed...
Hope was shared and felt in a deep and tangible way...Perhaps God had this in mind all along?

maventheavenger aka jamie said...

Joy, thanks for your bravery. I appreciate you staying in the group on Sunday. I needed your presence.

Jimbo said...

I am also VERY thankful that Joy decided to join us. I found the whole experience very incredible and it was primarily the people and the discussions that occured. Joy's words brought up alot of emotion for me.
I think this advent season I am learning more about Hope than I ever knew before. Before hope was about believing that something was going to occur and just looking forward to that. This year it has become something much more deaper and painful. It has become this intense longing and desire for "OH GOD LET THERE BE SOMETHING..."
Does this make sense? A hope out of desperation rather than a hope out of assurance.

D L said...

Advent has started… it is for some, many, a season for Hope! An anticipation, a expectation that the essence of God, His very presence will be here, amongst us.

What I found wonderful about celebrating the first Sunday in Advent with everyone was how the worship flowed freely & authentically. That is what it was folks… worship. Jim did a great job as the guide but everyone so easily expressed hopes, fears, tears etc. Authentic worship.

So Advent has started for us as an anticipation & celebration of Hope. Come Holy Spirit!

Yes Joy... God had this all in mind from the start!

carrie said...

I too thought it was just wonderfully authentic and honest and unscripted on Sunday. I felt like we all were open to letting whatever would happen happen. It was very meaningful to me...and I AM hopeful. For real. What was so great for me was that we could celebrate without ritual. I treasure this group.