December 4, 2011

Waiting for the (un)King: Advent Week Two

Advent is all about remembering. Remembering a story. Phrases that start with, "Remember that..." and "Don't forget..." are found throughout Scripture. What is it that we are to remember? In short, the story of the cosmos as told through the lens of Scripture. The Bible provides a particular way of looking at the world. It provides a particular narrative. Like all stories, this story begins in a particular place with a particular people. But it moves out from there, spreading across the globe. It is a story that begins in the particular yet moves towards the universal. That is to say, it is a story meant for all of us.

In the West, we are each taught that we can craft our own stories. And to a certain extent, this is true. We are each individuals, choosing how we will live and responsible for the outcome of those decisions. But we are, as well, always participating in grander stories together. Stories of consumerism, democracy, nationalism, globalization, etc. Some of these narratives are more subtle than others. But they each say something about how we imagine the world to work and how it ought to be and how we believe it will turn out in the end.

During Advent, Christians remember the story of a Creator. A Creator that intends to work with that which he has created to renew, revive and re-imagine all that he has created. And he has gone to the greatest lengths to make this agenda possible. Yet it seems that greatness is defined differently in this story than in many others. Greatness in this story does not come to us loud or dominant. Rather, it comes gentle and quiet. We have to listen and look carefully to find. The lectionary readings during Advent reflect this.

So, this Advent season we choose our story. The story that will define us and shape us. And we attempt to remember that story rightly.

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