Thursday, December 08, 2005

Advent: The Shame of Inactivity

Loretta Ross-Gotta is our author du jour. She goes straight for the jugular when she challenges our need to be active instead of waiting for God. She says that we fear doing nothing. We fear that ...

this offering of oneself for God to be the actor, cannot possibly be enough. It all seems so passive. Do something, produce, perform, earn your keep. Don't just sit there.

Loretta challenges us to be more like Mary as she waits for Jesus to be born in us...

We create holy ground and give birth to Christ in our time not by doing but by believing and by loving the mysterious Infinite One who stirs within. This requires trust that something of great and saving importance is growing and kicking its heels in you.

The greatest challenge from Loretta may be her parting words. She suggests that we risk it all by not engaging in any of the cultural aspects of Christmas. No presents, no lights, no decorating. No worrying about uncle Fred's obnoxious behavior or if the sweater you bought for Michelle is the right color. Instead she imagines attending a church service, void of carols and candles, to only focus on the presence of God...

All of that would seem gaudy and shallow in comparison to the sanctity of that still sanctuary. And we, hushed and awed by something greater and wiser and kinder than we, would kneel of one accord in the stillness. A peace would settle over the planet like a velvet coverlet drawn over a sleeping child...We would be filled with the fullness of God...What if, instead of doing something, we were to be something special? Be a womb. Be a dwelling for God. Be surprised.

It's probably telling of us as a people, but simply being the dwelling place of God isn't enough for us. We seem to need the bells and whistles

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