Thursday, December 10, 2015

Philippians 4:4-7

Year C - Advent 3 or Needed Change 3
December 13, 2015


Rejoicing and Thanksgiving as a way of life begin to show themselves in a sense of gentleness for self and others. Folks we meet on the outside and inside of our soul can be honored better when we are so full of thanks that we don’t have room for sorting them into whatever stereotypes we carry around with us. When rejoicing over the sheer gift of life we see how they add value to our life, even those for whom we can make no accounting.

It is this same rejoicing and thanksgiving that becomes a guard over our hearts when temptations come to give up on folks. In this way we can continue long enough to see connections and value below a first glance or impression, beyond a first betrayal.

“Holy Spirit and Fire” are not all that mysterious or alien. They do not require a theological degree. When rejoicing is present, so is Spirit. When thanksgiving is engaged, so is Fire. These allow new vision and kindness to enter our lives.

Yes the language of “Holy Spirit and Fire” is often of the harsh variety with winnowing forks and other images of a judgment leading to Hell.  But, no, Spirit teaches rejoicing in enough and Fire informs gentleness in relationships.

In these ways a great Mercy beyond understanding reveals itself in deeply appreciated Peace. 

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Somewhere in the midst of this posting the word “gaudy” kept wanting to sneak in. I finally looked it up and found Mirriam-Webster online indicates 2 definitions. The first is as an adjective describing something tastelessly ornamented with a first use in 1582 (no derivation given). The second is as a noun regarding a feast or entertainment dating only since 1651 and derived from the Latin, gaudium (joy). So how did that shift from negative to positive take place in a 70 period? What else today could use that sort of change and do you think it will it take as long or longer?


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