What is wisdom? There are many answers to that question. I’ve heard it described as knowledge applied to life. I’ve heard it worshiped—under the name Sophia—as a sort of new-age or neo-pagan spirituality. I’ve read it was involved in the creation of the world.
That last one is provocative, and I think Christians tend to gloss over it, ignoring its significance. It’s found in the most known collection of wisdom writing in the Western world—the biblical book simply known as “Proverbs.”
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When I think of the title of my blog—An Old Song with a New Dance—and what was happening in my life when I chose it, I think of forming a new way of life out of the patchwork of history and culture that has had an influence on who I am and what I care about. I think about Medieval monks and about living in a big house with another family leading to a painful schism. I think about the longing for connection with other people and with God that led to trying something new. I think about the dark night of the soul that followed the dissolution of that community. I think about learning from a new community what serving and community and faithfulness and love look like.
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This fourth week of Advent, the procession of longing reaches a crescendo in love. The whole season of Advent is characterized by hope, by waiting, by longing. We remember Israel’s longing for the LORD’s anointed who was to be many things to many people. We remember Mary’s long wait as a vulnerable baby slowly grew in the safety of her womb. We remember the history of saints through millennia of hoping for the long awaited appearance of Jesus to put the world to rights, and we continue to form that history as we hope.
Read more "Advent Prayer #4: A Song of Love"
This third week of Advent, we rise above the surface and inhale the sweetness of joy. As we near the winter solstice and the nights grow longer and the days grow colder, joy can be hard to see. This year, as in all years, the fear for our futures, the ever-present suffering of the people of the world, and sadness for what could have been and what ought to be threaten to obscure the gifts God gives even in the midst of life.
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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"
What do you do when you have a master’s degree in the divine, a bachelor’s degree in the study of the Bible and biblical languages, have built your identity on the depth and wisdom of a spiritual life you have always hoped was meaningful for more people than just yourself, and you’re even in the middle of writing a series of blog posts about prayer and meditation, and in an instant, you no longer believe? What do you do when you’ve defined your life as a search to find the right steps to dance to the ancient and eternal song composed of God’s love and the music fades from hearing?
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Confessions. What do we think of when we hear that word? I am probably nerdier than most, though not as much as some, and I immediately think of the famous book by Augustine of Hippo. Also, multiple phrases of a pop culture nature pop into my thoughts along the lines of “confessions of a ___________.” […]
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