It’s Thanksgiving week here in America and we are looking forward to sharing the day with our small Mustard Seed House community and following it up with another celebration with friends the following day. There are some aspects of Thanksgiving that I love. It reminds me of my need to be thankful for the many gifts that God has bestowed on me both physically and spiritually. All of us need to take time to thank God regularly for the wonder of who our Creator has made us to be and Thanksgiving certainly motivates those feelings. However it’s important to realize that for many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of mourning and protest since it commemorates the arrival of settlers in North America and the centuries of oppression and genocide that followed. We need to balance our thanksgiving celebration and our gratefulness to God with an acknowledgement of these realities and prayerfully consider how we might respond. I am delighted to see that Randy Woodley has just published another children’s book The Harmony Tree: Spared by Fire. It deals with Indigenous and Settler relations, empowers women and addresses the wildfire issue. I just ordered my copy.
In my Meditation Monday: Circling through Advent this week I combined my celebration of giving thanks with my focus on Celtic Advent. I am amazed at how energizing and sustaining this practice is. Each morning I read one of my circling prayers, and this week, as I describe in the Monday Meditation, I created a circle from my collection of rocks and considered what I wanted inside and out the circle of God’s presence. I keep making and remaking it, using it to remind myself of what I want to see more of in my life and our world as I sit in the centre of God’s encircling presence and what I want to see excluded from that circle, a circle that encompasses the whole world.
Lilly Lewin is also off to an early start with Advent with her Freerange Friday: You Are Invited to Start Advent Early. I love her question “What is Jesus inviting you to this Advent season? And hope that you will take time to both read her post and consider her question.
Yesterday was also Universal Children’s Day and we posted two beautiful articles in the last week to commemorate. Alex Tang’s Embracing the Children – A Journey of Faith and Hope “the central takeaway is the importance of actively incorporating Jesus’ command to “let the little children come unto me” into our daily lives, especially in the modern context fraught with unique challenges. It calls for a deep commitment to nurturing children’s spiritual growth amidst the complexities of today’s world, including the pervasive influence of social media and technology.”
In her post For Every Child, Every Right, Kathie Hempel reminded us of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child and encouraged us to understand these rights and not hinder but support the fulfillment of them throughout the world. It is a very important post.
On Wednesday in her post Celtic Advent Begins and Seasonal Resources, Melissa reminded us of all the wonderful resources – both free and for purchase, that Godspace has available for the season. I hope you will check out these resources and take advantage of all we have to offer. And don’t forget our Advent Quiet Day on December 9th. Quiet days are so important during this season of frenetic activity and consumer hype and I hope you will join us for the day.
I started reading Drew Jackson’s “God Speaks Through Wombs: Poems on God’s Unexpected Coming” this week. What a powerful collection of poems to read during this season. Let me close with one that seems particularly appropriate this week:
Theophilus (Lover of God)
Luke 1: 1-4
Told by those
Lovers of Adonai
From the underside.
From the mouths
Of the disempowered
To the ground
By imperial power.
May God make us all truly thankful during this season
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Don’t forget to sign up for the third seasonal retreat! On December 9, Christine Sine will lead a morning of scripture reading and quiet reflectionthat will be for many of us a much needed oasis of quiet in the midst of this chaotic season.