Saturday, December 5, 2009

Where time meets eternity - Advent

There's a lot to like about two consecutive rainy cool days in West Central Florida.

One - of course - is the constant hum of the tea kettle on the boil. Weather like this lends itself to British style hot tea and what's left of Thanksgiving's date-nut bread. The constant background, though, has been the weaving of a devotional tapestry via pretty-much every seasonal music CD we own. From the Kenny Gee "Faith" album through James Taylor's holiday stylings, massed choirs singing the classics, baroque instrumentals, soulful carols by the "Blind Boys of Alabama", Canadian Brass, and several awesome acoustic guitar selections by people who play their hearts out and leave us breathless every time.

I enjoy watching Rebekah move through the house with creative purpose, slowly assembling an Advent ambiance that is unique every year. It's an art form, a festive feng-shui we could charge admission for people to experience it's that good!

Yesterday evening, rounding the corner with two cups of steaming tea in hand, I saw her tinkering with the tree, adjusting something that spoke subtly of Advent hope, a private smile lighting the edges of her mouth.

"What are you enjoying so much," I asked. I think I already knew, but magic spoken aloud is that much more compelling.

"Just a memory," she said.

But it was more than a memory, it was a moment; this moment, this slice of our life together, lived out in peace and served up with hot tea, experienced in a home that we have crafted together out of faithful lives and years of raising children, in the context of abiding faith and the deep knowledge and experience of grace upon grace.

We may live in the now; but this exact time in chronos is layered with meaning and purpose that make more sense in our experience of kairos. When Rebekah paused - her hand resting on a particular object that called up both memory and promise - what occurred happened both at 8:45 PM in the evening of December 4, 2009 and in the context of a timeless interface with the Kingdom that Jesus talked about so much via parable and invitation.

Such moments exist in the same reality as the conversation I enjoyed with my cousin, Linda, a few days ago. I believe this is the secret to embracing the coming of Jesus in a fresh way each year. Not a drummed up emotion leveraged by ritual or by guilt or by nostalgia... but an apprehension that we exist - as human beings - in a realm that is neither limited by time and space nor by the narrow constructs we impose, rationales necessarily limited by the parameters of our finite brains and "verifiable" experiences.

My advice? Just be open to the Spirit. Be free-thinkers in the truest sense of the word. In other words, free ourselves from the limits of our prejudice and limited view of what is possible.

Peace; Grace; Hope; Love & Joy - DEREK

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