Depression is largely the experience of losing hope. It doesn’t mean we don’t think hope is real or that hope isn’t worth having. But it’s like I set it down and then accidentally bumped it off. It fell on the ground and rolled out of sight, and I don’t know where to look for it. Sometimes, I have the time to search methodically. Other times I need it urgently and not having it is painful.
Read More Reaching for Hope
When I think about fear and shame and their connections with the compulsion to self-protection and harming ourselves and each other (perhaps a word to summarize that might be ‘sin’), in some ways it softens me. It helps me have compassion even on those who are harming others. In my best moments, it helps me have compassion even on those who are harming me.
At the same time, it reinforces the overwhelming sense of helplessness and hopelessness that anything in life can actually be healed or improved. I might be able to fix something in my own life, but can life for all people everywhere ever get better? It seems unlikely.
Read More What Hope?
Now that Advent has concluded and we have moved officially to celebrating the arrival of Jesus, the beginnings of good news and joy for those looking for God’s reign to take root, it is time to reflect and pray to celebrate the good things God has done.
Throughout Advent, I reflected on the book Song of Songs and paired it with the traditional theme of each week: hope, peace, joy, and love. In that ancient poem about the intimate dance and love affair with Holy Wisdom, all four of those virtues and divine gifts can be found.
In Jesus, all four find their true home.
Read More Christmas Prayer: A Song of Celebration
Advent is a beginning. It serves to begin the church calendar, guiding God’s people in remembering the greatest gift we have received: God’s very self given to us in Jesus. The weeks leading up to Christmas help us to prepare our hearts, souls, minds, and strength to be the family of God, ready to receive our elder brother.
Every year, we begin again, for every year the nights are dark and the seeds of new creation have not fully blossomed. As a family, we turn to each other for hope, to remind each other why we wait and how to be the beacon in the darkness for the hopeless and the oppressed.
Read More Advent Prayer #1: A Song of Hope