11/27/2013

First Sunday of Advent Palimpsest

...God cannot be proved. There are sermons in science that beggar those in stones, but not proofs...but the power in these sermons is remarkable. Because color with all its beauty screens the Pure Light of the Void, Goethe called it “light’s suffering,” which too is arresting. What Christian (or at least Christian with the slightest metaphysical ear) can recite the Nicene Creed -- “God from God, Light from Light, very God from very God” -- without new comprehension after reflecting on the things that this chapter has touched on? What Jew or Christian can read God’s first pronouncement, “Let there be light,” without similar gain? It is not only Muslims who are moved by Rumi’s lovely line, “Wist thou not that the sun thou seest is but the reflection of the Sun behind the veil?” For myself, I add to the above what Reuben Snake once told me. “When we Indians first step out-of-doors in the morning, we raise
both our arms to greet the rising sun. And in an eruption of praise and gratitude, we shout ‘Ho!’” -- Huston Smith, Why Religion Matters



On September 9, 1997, a gigantic crane cut through all of the red tape encircling Judiciary Square and lowered a four-ton sculpture to its permanent cement base.  What made this particular installation remarkable was the biblical symbolism of the sculpture’s design. Titled “Guns into Plowshares,” this 16-foot-high steel plow blade consists of 3,000 handguns welded together to form the distinctive shape of the well-known farm implement. Artist Esther Augsburger and her son worked for two and a half years with the Metro Police Department. They molded handguns that had been surrendered by local residents. This simple plow announces a prophetic hope: the longstanding hope for the day when God will get God’s way...in God’s society, gunpowder will become grain to feed the hungry. -- Peter Marty, The Christian Century, 11.16.04

At St. Louis University is a small Jesuit chapel that is creatively lit. The light fixtures are made of twentieth-century cannon shells, converted. Emptied of their lethal contents, they now hold light for people to pray by. In such light we pray and live. And having laid our own weapons down, we bear witness to the promise of greater transformations in days to come. — Paul Simpson Duke, Feasting on the Word

“I knew this was it,” said Ron. “I grabbed my stuff and packed it, then I put on my rucksack and went out into the garden. The little ball of light was hovering there, waiting for me, and when I came out it bobbed along a bit and I followed it behind the shed and then it...well, it went inside me.”
“Sorry?” said Harry, sure he had not heard correctly.
“It sort of floated toward me,” said Ron, illustrating the movement with his free index finger, “right to my chest, and then — it just went straight through. It was here,” he touched a point close to his heart,” I could feel it, it was hot. And once it was inside me I knew what I was supposed to do. I knew it would take me where I needed to go.”
 — J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


Questions:
How do you experience God’s light, the light of Christ, in your life?
In this church? Where do you see God’s light entering the world? What does that light do?

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