Thy Kingdom Come

candles

Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

Advent. It is a time that we used to remember and to experience. Some of still do, but we are surrounded by a culture steeped in its own materialism and eventually self-destruction. Advent is a time of expectation: an active waiting and longing for the coming of God to set things aright — to bring the exiles home, to establish peace, to abide with the people God has called. It is a time to begin anew, as the church calendar circles back to its start, to begin anew and to live for the coming of the Kingdom of God. It is a time to pray, “Your Kingdom Come.”

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Gratitude and the Shape of a Worldview

grapes

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. — Abraham Lincoln, “Thanksgiving Proclamation,” 1863

Today is a great day. In the land of my forefathers, today is a day of gratitude, thanksgiving, and all sorts of food. Today is a day where families gather, good food is prepared communally, served, and eaten together. Around a common table, people will often express in words things they are grateful for. In that regard, it is a special day, but it is a practice we could and perhaps should do regularly.

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Living, Dying, Living

tomb

“O, I die, Horatio.
The potent poison quite o’ercrows my spirit.
I cannot live to hear the news from England.
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice.
So tell him, with th’ occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited. The rest is silence.” — Hamlet

But is it? In now, my third consecutive post about death, I want to turn from its violence and its solace, to the fact that it is not the end. I want to talk about resurrection. I want to talk about the unknown, the music after the silence.

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…and From Dying Unprepared

all saints day

“From all oppression, conspiracy, and rebellion; from
violence, battle, and murder; and from dying suddenly and
unprepared, Good Lord, deliver us.” — The Great Litany

 Continuing the theme from last week’s final post, I want to talk about death again. Not as the great and existential horror that looms at the end of the line for all of us, but as the friend that greets us and leads us into the unknown, into rest, and into the undiscovered country. Today, I want to talk about dying prepared, dying well, dying full of days and in community.

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Hermit, Cure Thy Own Loneliness

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“I would like to voice loudly and clearly what might seem unpopular and maybe even disturbing: The Christian way of life does not take away our loneliness; it protects and cherishes it as a precious gift.”  –  Henri Nouwen

When drafting this post, I didn’t know whether to end the title with a question mark or an exclamation point. Loneliness and solitude are two fundamentally opposed yet connected states of being. As I’ve written before, in order to grow, we must move from loneliness to solitude. But how does that happen? Is it possible for all people? And can loneliness ever be truly defeat?

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The One When…Jeremy Writes about Friends

friends

“The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists in listening to them.” — Bonhoeffer

What does it mean to be a friend? What does it mean to be in relationship with another person that is not familial nor is it romantic? What does it mean to be a friend in such a transitory society, where one month someone can be here, and in the next, they could be on the other side of the world? Is real friendship even possible anymore?

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