Wisdom’s Path, Advent and Christmas

“Wisdom’s Path” by Jan L. Richardson was our image for the fourth Sunday of Advent. During my sermon preparation, I noticed while studying the image that the woman’s hands are made from torn maps; there’s a river stretching from her wrist to her fingers and her thumbs are lakes.

Though we’re not born with maps (or even instructions) to tell us how to live … or not, the stories of our faith give us plenty of guidance. The life and ministry of Jesus, the message of the ancient prophets offers a sort of spiritual map. We might feel like we’re stepping off the edge of the world sometimes or maybe drawing our path with our footsteps, yet … maybe, we’re wandering around in God. The apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans that nothing can separate us from God. What if there is nothing except God? What if, as theologian Sally McFague believes, the earth is the Body of God? Jan Richardson writes in Night Visions: Searching the Shadows of Advent and Christmas.

“I think that we come into the world with a scrap, a shred of some cosmic map in our grasp. It’s lined onto the palms of our hands that emerged with us, fisted, from our mother’s ocean. … Across the terrain of our hands that come in different sizes and colors and have wrinkles or scars and are smooth or leathery with work and are missing fingers or are twisted with illness, across their flesh lie the lines that if we look closely enough are connected and will tell us which way to go.” (page 46)

In these few days before Christmas, as we try to ignore the howl of “buymore,” work to stay calm when the to-do list gets longer, and avoid raging at traffic, I invite you to consider what is being born in you at this time in your life. In what direction is God nudging you and how will you respond?

If I don’t see you at either of the Christmas Eve Services, I wish you a very Merry Christmas! Be safe. See you in 2016.

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