Here is a reflection on the Incarnation, the theological focus of Advent & Christmas. It comes from the Right Reverend Larry Maze, the retired Bishop of Arkansas. I found it in “The Rose,” a journal publication of Emmanuel Church in Athens, Georgia, vol. 20.
“I’ve long held the hope that the whole world’s love of Christmas has to do with a longing for a God who participates in the flesh and blood realities of where and how we live. So many Christians seem to believe that God lives somewhere else and looks on us from afar. It is a good thing that at least once a year we entertain the expectation that God and flesh and blood might be connected, if even for a holiday.”
I find these words to be a nice articulation of the deeper elements of the Advent & Christmas season. Here are some words about Bishop Maze from this edition of “The Rose.” “He continues to be fascinated by the clear connection between Jungian thought and Christian spirituality… (and) …he tries to instill the message that inner work is not an interesting hobby, but likely the most important work we have to do.” I’ve long used Advent at our church as an opportunity to engage folks in an opportunity, at least for the four weeks of Advent, for some of that important inner work. There is plenty of outer work to do during Advent, but some inner work provides a good balance.
May your 2012 Advent bring about deeper inner work in your soul.