November 20, 2008

Reign of Christ with Friends

I just read my friend Ellen's courageous blog post and want to link it here.

I've been reading about Advent before the time and am SO ready, which would mean I'm living in Advent, waiting with anticipation, hopeful, awake and aware, throughout the year! Aware of what? Not wanting to miss a God 'wink' in my day, and seeing whomever I encounter each day as someone reflecting God's image, though tarnished, looking and learning from and loving the glimmer and the gunk. I wait, trying to be present to the moment, expecting that new things will happen, new things far beyond my imagination or prediction.

Another friend, Sarah, sent me her thoughts on palm trees this morning. We had an art meeting last night at church and I brought my latest weaving to show her, telling her I wanted to use it as a background, and needlefelt a picture on it. We were brainstorming trees, and about Deborah in Judges ... And as I've pondered more from her thoughts, I realize how whenever scripture mentions 'trees', I'm thinking along the line of Oak.

Palms are very deep rooted, alive on the inside, growing from within. It's leaves are ever green, whispering musically in the breeze. Date palms takes time to produce fruit, with scarred trunks producing sweeter fruit, and it produces more fruit with age, bearing fruit for a century. And think about it visually, aren't they usually grouped around an oasis? And being a textile artist I love the fact that it gives of itself in many ways, besides wine from its sap and tall timber from its stem, the leaves are woven into ropes, rugs, bags and baskets ... It's a flexible tree, with more elasticity, yet growing upward even when loaded with weights.

Flexible? I'm open to God transforming me, reforming me, birthing anew in me, enlarging my heart. Thank you Sarah for thinking of me and blessing me with your inspirations. And as to Ellen's blog ... I've entered Hot Topic stores with Dawson, engaging the multi-pierced, black-bedecked, creative hair (I was there once!) young people in conversation and seeing them as fellow humanity. No fear ...

And as I think of it, I need to say thanks to my pastor friend Aram, for thinking of me and including me in what him and the pastoring team talked about this week. It is the end of the Christian Calendar Year, with this weekend being "Reign of Christ Sunday". As the lectionary book says -

"Jesus Christ is Lord of all and shall reign as Lord in my life. So committed, we are able to face every eventuality of life because we now know the One in whom our life is found, redeemed, and kept secure. Our radical trust is in the One who is completely trustworthy. Life in Christ is good and complete."

And as Aram said, "Whereas the beginning of the church year, with Advent, begins with anticipation, the end of the church year ends with a certaintly ... Jesus reigns among us."

I like the radical trust phrase. And I'm thinking on "perfect Love casts out fear".

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