Riding the RCL into Advent

Christmas lights are going up around the street, but it’s not Christmas yet. Our Christmas tree will go up on Christmas Eve and stay for the 12 days of the Nativity commemorations. Next Sunday readings begin the four week season of Advent that precedes Christmas. Like the season of Lent, it is a purple seasonContinue reading “Riding the RCL into Advent”

Advent Voices – Christmas Eve

Festivity and celebration occur for very good reasons. In our pampered state, it marks a break in routine, a legitimate season to hang loose and indulge the hedonistic sides of our nature. In our reflective state, we realise that a momentous event in the history of our world caused a seismic shift in our perceptionContinue reading “Advent Voices – Christmas Eve”

Advent Voices: Titus tantalises

Two days before Christmas, a minor voice from the New Testament speaks out. Squeezed obscurely between Timothy and Philemon, not large players themselves, Titus has a voice worth listening to: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation [health, integrity, wholeness] to all…  Two days out from Christmas, Titus reminds us that, ultimately, a giftContinue reading “Advent Voices: Titus tantalises”

Advent Voices: Expectant prophet

Incarnation looms near. An expectant mother is amongst others as they make their way along the crowded track to their ancestral town, by order of the census officials. The words of an old oracle from an expectant prophet ring in her ears as the throng plods its weary way. Expectant mother; expectant prophet – theirContinue reading “Advent Voices: Expectant prophet”

Fourth Sunday in Advent – Love

And so the set of four Advent candles have been lit. Candles of anticipation – hope, peace, joy and, finally, love. The Australian community has been galvanised in the aftermath of three unspeakable acts of violence – the Martin Place siege, the Peshawar school massacre, and a family tragedy in Cairns. Amidst crowd reactions ofContinue reading “Fourth Sunday in Advent – Love”

Advent Voices: a candle in the dark

Advent draws expectant attention to an arrival of one divinely anointed to fix the mess we’re in. It’s a season that both highlights the chaos of a violent world and the pregnant promise of its resolution. Advent’s themes are in tension – no more so this week than when the siege in Sydney and the horrendousContinue reading “Advent Voices: a candle in the dark”

Advent Voices: the strong voice of Mary

Today’s text, Luke 1:26-38, is illustrated throughout our world’s art galleries and museums as the “Annunciation.”  The imposing and other-worldly figure of Gabriel is depicted speaking words of life-changing import to a young woman, Mary, who seems simultaneously beatific and non-plussed. Tradition has emphasised her piety and holiness. The narrative in the text highlights herContinue reading “Advent Voices: the strong voice of Mary”