advent experiment, take 5

November 20, 2007


Nearly four years ago, just before Thanksgiving, my friend — Analisa — met me for our twice-a-month brunch at Clarke’s, hand-wrapped package in towAdvent hasn’t been the same since.

Ana gifted me, that morning, with a book entitled Watch for the Light.  It was a collection of readings for Advent and Christmas.  Together over coffee, we schemed a plan to make Advent “intentional” … in some small & important way.  We committed sanctuarytour.gifto daily readings and a weekly jaunt to Fourth Pres for a service & homily.

Taking the train into the city every week, I reflected on what it might have been like for Mary & Joseph … when they journeyed to Bethlehem.  (One week, while doing homework on the train, a girl covered in piercings and tattoos took an interest in the class reading I’d brought along.  The text was entitled What It Means To Be Free.  She thought it [looked amazing and] was a read on autonomy & self-discovery; I knew it was a barely-tolerable book on E-free church polity.)  Talk about changing the subject!

I sometimes think about the absurdity of me reading a book on polity while journeying into the city for Advent-reflection, sitting next to a tatoo, pierced girl hungry for freedom.  I suppose irony’s not far-behind any reflection on the Nativity.

Though life as a grad-student was rigorous at semester’s end, I sensed the importance of slowing and focusing on that (One) which is truly important … central to this time of year.

Since the days of Advent-experiment 101, I’ve embarked upon a variety of other books, sermons and small-pilgrimages.  (Last year’s lecture series on Advent-art, hosted by KC’s Holy Grace and Trinity Cathedral ranks among my most worshipful-endeavors.)

Advent Experiment 2007 has yet to take shape.  (I’ve just ordered Nouwen & Merton; we’ll see which … and what else in a week or so.)  I’m eager for the (train?) ride …


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