God. alive.

happy new year a few days late!  this weekend marked the beginning of the church calendar, the start of advent (since we do a saturday evening gathering, we are always a day early).  i love the spirit of advent–a season of waiting, hoping, expecting, noticing–in preparation for Christ’s birth.  this year i do feel extra-excited about the upcoming month. i can’t really describe why, it’s just some kind of stirring inside that i haven’t really felt for quite a while.  some lovely sense of God’s presence in the midst of all the nuttiness in my own life and the life of so many of my friends. a wild spark of faith reminding me that the “good news” is alive and well regardless of my doubts & the circumstances-that-don’t-seem-to-be-getting-any-better-anytime-soon for so many that i love. it’s the sweet (and sometimes scary) taste of hope, that the story we are living in is bigger than we know and somehow we are part of telling it.

i don’t know exactly what it is, but i’m thankful for it.

and while i feel more hope-ful than usual, i’m also reminded that this season isn’t the merriest for so many. it often doesn’t feel like the season of hope but rather of hope-lessness, of loneliness. so what does that mean for us?  to me, it somehow means that while i experience God’s hope this advent, i also am called to tangibly pass it on.  Jesus’ birth represents the incarnation–God made flesh.   and the beauty and glory of the story is that because Christ dwells in us, we, too, are God made flesh.

so that’s my heart & hope this advent.  that i somehow, some way notice God, alive.  and somehow, some way pass on God, alive.

i wrote this little piece as a hope-ful prayer for this advent season.  nothing fancy or too poetic, just what was on my heart.  i thought i’d share it with you:

You.  alive.

God, this advent season
give us eyes to see, hearts to feel
You.
alive.

moving.
restoring.
touching.
reminding.
feeding.
loving.
holding.
hoping.
listening.

you are close.
you are here.
you are real.

God, this advent season
help us
be you.  alive.

moving.
restoring.
touching.
reminding.
feeding.
loving.
holding.
hoping.
listening.

we are close.
we are here.
we are real.

God, this advent,
give us eyes to see,  hearts to feel
You
alive.

where are you at this advent?  what is stirring up in you related to this season?

* * * * *

ps: now that i think about it, i guess i am on a little advent kick.  my dear friend mike & i facilitated the start of advent at the refuge on saturday night, and you can read a little bit more about what we talked about on the refuge blog.  and i also have a post up at communitas collective called let love be born in this place again that includes a lovely prayer by cheryl lawrie, who works with the marginalized of the marginalized in prison in australia.   she’s one of my favs.  enjoy.

ppss:  many of you know this, but if you didn’t,  today–december 1st–is world AIDS day, too.  may we never forget that millions of people are afflicted with this disease.  while we buy gifts & go to fun christmas parties, they are dying.  and they need us to fight for their lives, to somehow be God in the flesh for them. moving. restoring. touching. reminding. loving. holding. hoping. listening.

Kathy Escobar

Kathy Escobar co-pastors at The Refuge, a Christian community and mission center in North Denver and is the author of Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward When Everything You Believe is Coming Apart and several other books.

3 Comments

  • Kathy,
    Thank you! I needed that this morning all wrapped up in school work and stress. I need that when faced with the mounting chaos of a time of year I used to love and now can barely tolerate. Where is my Christmas Spirit? Maybe I left it at a shopping mall a few years back and should retrace my steps. I’m not sure, but one thing I do know is I desperately need to find Jesus in this time and maybe, just maybe the advent can help.
    I love you
    angie

    Reply
  • Love this! Your prayer is beautiful!!
    I have been looking forward to this time of year ever since last spring when I started exploring deeper the connection with God of the OT and Jesus. I was and have been so struck by the passion that drove our Creator to such an extreme measure as to being born a human…it boggles my brain!
    I’m with Angie though at the moment, and sure hoping when this term is over I…we, will have the presence of mind to appreciate the season!

    Reply

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