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Why The Vision of Peace Matters: Advent Week 2
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Why The Vision of Peace Matters: Advent Week 2

 

Nativity Israel

Peace.  {Tranquility, calm, serenity, stillness, quietness}

Go slower. Simplify the season.  Celebrate what matters most.

Reflect on the stories, signs and miracles leading up to Jesus coming to us.

From the profound prophecies of Isaiah, to the wild preparing the way by John the Baptist, to the tender sharing of pregnancy between Elizabeth and Mary, the stories invite us in.

 

Hope, Peace, Joy, Love.

Anticipating the coming of Jesus.

Welcoming him into our hearts and homes.

Awaiting his final return.

 

Transitional Thresholds

 

Identifying with the story – like Mary and Joseph, the wise men and the shepherds.

We are all traveling unfamiliar pathways with Jesus.

 

Pilgrims. Sojourners. Homeless.   

 

Advent represents these thresholds: unknown space and time while transitioning or journeying from one state to another.

Like from dawn to day or dusk to dark.

When something fades away and something new begins to be revealed.

 

The Celts describe these transitional thresholds as ‘thin places’.

Where heaven and earth are closer together and the veil between worlds is thin.

Others experience it as a ‘liminal space’

{‘Limina’ comes from the Latin word which means ‘threshold’}

 

Are you sensing any shifts, transitions or unfamiliar pathways in your life?

 

New Life. New Vision

 

Advent crosses us over the sacred threshold from ordinary time to a new Church calendar year and into the extraordinary season of ‘holy birthing’.

Symbolically, we are invited on an inner journey, awakening our awareness to seek and embrace a new vision.

 

It may mean birthing something completely new.

Or going from one thing to another – or an old place to a new place.

But it could also represent transitioning to a new place in the Spirit.

When the Holy Spirit breathes new life and strengthens an area already in your life.

 

 

Waiting

 

Waiting Patiently

 

And so, we wait.

The spiritual rhythms of life are about waiting.

Birthing new life takes time.

Hope – based waiting.  Waiting in joyful hope.  Patiently waiting.

 

We now wait for the coming of Christ.

Then we wait for a fresh outpouring from the Holy Spirit after Easter.

And then we perpetually wait after ascension for his coming again.

 

Always actively and patiently waiting for God – to come to us.

 

Staying awake and alert with heightened and deepened awareness.

Living fully alive in the present moment, being attentive not to miss Christ- with – us. Holding onto present promises in our hearts that we wait to live into.

The joyful expectation of the fulfillment of these promises is what keeps us paying full attention to our daily journey.

 

The word patience comes from the Latin verb ‘patior’ which means ‘to suffer’. Waiting patiently is suffering through the present moment, tasting it to the full… paying attention to what is happening right before our eyes…”

Henri Nouwen

Beauty

Visions of Peace On Earth

 

Let there be Peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.

Sy Miller and Jill Jackson

 

And we wait with great visions of ‘ultimate peace and harmony’ with all creation, longing for beauty and full freedom.

To balance beauty for brokenness – for our freedom to fly.

These are not just sentimental fairy tales.

All of creation is meant to be enfolded together in the loving arms of God. The whole earth is eagerly waiting with expectation to be freed from brokenness and brought into beautiful freedom.

 

This was always the plan.

Way before Jesus was born, Isaiah had a vision of the gift of Christ’s salvation. Then after Jesus died, John had a vision recorded in Revelation 21.

A new heaven and a new earth with all of creation transformed as the perfect Bride of Christ.

In the vision, Jesus speaks from his throne:

Look, I am making the whole of creation new… look, here God lives among human beings. He will make his home among them; they will be his people, and he will be their God.  God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness or pain. The world of the past has gone.”

 

Henri Nouwen affirms that these ‘visions’ of ‘ultimate peace’ resonate with the deepest longings of the human heart. “Holding on to these visions are what nurture our souls and strengthen our hearts” Nouwen writes.  “They offer us hope when we are close to despair, courage when we are tempted to give up.”

 

We need to hold on to our visions of ultimate beauty, peace and harmony.

“It’s these deepest aspirations that give us energy to overcome great obstacles and painful setbacks.”

Otherwise life would be flat, mundane, disappointing – and we would languish.

 

“Our visions enable us to live the full life.”

 

“The marvelous vision of the peaceable kingdom… where all violence has been overcome… and all… live in loving unity with nature… calls for realization in our day-to-day lives.

Instead of being an escapist dream, it challenges us to anticipate what it promises.

Every time we forgive… show compassion… make a child smile… arrange a bouquet of flowers, offer care to tame or wild animals, prevent pollution, create beauty in our homes and gardens …

We are making the vision come true.”

 

Whenever it comes alive in us we will find new energy to live it out

right where we are.

 

Instead of making us escape real life, this beautiful vision gets us involved.”

 

That’s the reason why I am entering into the Advent season reflectively, opening my life, anticipating the presence of Christ coming in renewed ways.

Why I play Christmas music and sing along.

Why I am enjoying the lights, sights, sounds and tastes of the season.

Why I want to be sensitive to reflect the spirit of Christ in giving.

Why I took the time to write this blog and encourage you.

 

Because living out the beautiful vision of God’s hope, peace, joy and love really matters.

 

Together, lets keep this vision alive.

 

QUESTION: In what ways are you involved, living out this beautiful vision of a peaceable kingdom, right where you are – in your day-to-day life?

 {You may want to also read a previous blog on Why Beauty Matters For Balance Against Brokenness}

https://www.howtoflourish.com/blog/why-beauty-matters-for-balance-against-brokenness/

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