It is hard to believe that we are more than half way through September, zooming towards the end of the liturgical year, Advent and the celebration of Christmas. Harvest festivals, thanksgiving feasts and Christmas parties are already being planned for those in the Northern hemisphere and south of the equator trips to the beach, BBQs and summer vacations are on the agenda.
Here at Godspace we are gearing up for the celebrations too and invite you to participate with us. Join the journey. Consider writing for Godspace, contribute your thoughts and creative ideas. Take photos for our upcoming Advent photo challenge. Invite your friends, be a part of the journey we are creating.
September – November Pilgrimage & Journey
All of life is a pilgrimage, a journey towards God and neighbour. This idea has been very much on my mind and heart over the last few months as I watched friends move, or go on pilgrimage. It has stirred even more deeply within me as I watched the forced journeying of refugees and listened to the stories of those who continue to journey along the pathway of discovery that the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson last year initiated.
It is amazing how quickly we gather unnecessary clutter, not just objects we don’t really need but habits and rituals that complicate rather than strengthen our faith. Pilgrimage brings us back to the essentials of life and faith. It often initiates a journey within and without as we explore new depths of relationship to God and grapple with new possibilities of how to engage with our neighbours.
In her recent book The Soul of a Pilgrim Christine Valters Paintner says: Pilgrimage calls us to be attentive to the divine at work in our lives through deep listening, patience, opening ourselves to the gifts that arise in the midst of discomfort, and going out to our own inner wild edges to explore new frontiers.
Over the next couple of months on Godspace I would like to explore the concept of pilgrimage and invite you to explore it with me. Would you like to share some of the new frontiers that your life journey has brought you to? What are the faith essentials it has brought you back to? What is the clutter it has encouraged you to divest yourself of?
Advent and Christmas – Leaning Towards the Light
In our celebration of the coming of the baby Jesus we often forget that the light of Christ is already shining in our world. So my question for the season is: How do we lean into the light of Christ? It is easy for us to spend so much time and energy on preparing for Christmas that we do not allow the season to prepare us for the coming year. So how do we lean into the light that will shine through us and out into God’s broken world over this coming year?
In the Northern hemisphere, as we pass through the darkest season of the year, and look towards the coming of the Christ light, we may be aware that darkness is the place in which new seeds germinate. Or we may think like Bruce Coburn in his song Lovers in a Dangerous Time, that we have to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight.
In the southern hemisphere where Advent and Christmas are marked by the long days of summer, leaning towards the light might engender images of growth and harvest.
The theme for Advent and Christmas was inspired by listening to Lean Toward the Light by Carrie Newcomer which you might also like to listen to here:
In conjunction with our daily Advent and Christmas reflections we will also offer a daily photo challenge, focusing on Reflections of Hope This is being put together by Jean Andrianoff. who will provide a word for each day and an Old and New Testament reading that inspire us to take photographs as we reflect on the theme.
I am very excited about our themes for the rest of the year but as you can imagine this is also creating more work for us. If you or anyone else you know would be interested in helping with the administration of the Godspace blog please let me know. I am looking for someone who can facilitate the uploading of guest posts – making sure we have all necessary author information and photographs and then posting these posts onto the blog.