At some point we will use words to explore what unfolded around us here in Wilmore, Kentucky over the past two weeks. But right now, we are just too busy, and too close to it all. So, for the moment, pictures from Asbury University.
[this visual essay is cross posted at the Anxious Bench]
from “Waiting with Imagination” (Pax Advent 2022):
“The Magnificat announces that the world is changing. Those who hear it can either get on board with God’s peaceful revolution of self-giving love that is good news for the poor, or they can seek to put the revolution to rest, like King Herod who ordered the slaughter of innocents in hopes of destroying the Messiah.”
From Annunciation by Denise Levertov
“But we are told of meek obedience. No one mentions
The engendering Spirit
did not enter her without consent.
She was free
to accept or to refuse, choice
integral to humanness.”
Plough Magazine shares an interview with Sr. Grace Remington, the artist behind “Mary and Eve,” the now-iconic image of these two “Mothers of all the living.”
“There was a cemetery behind my house which served as the neighborhood playground and Star Wars battlefield, and as a result, I grew up with a real sense of community across time with those who have died – the communion of saints. We knew all those graves, and while we didn’t know the people, they still felt like neighbors and friends in a very real sense.”
from Kate Bowler’s daily Advent devotional:
“Blessed are we with eyes open to see
the world as it really is,
who say: Where are you God? and
where are your people?”
“Advent recognizes the absence of peace, yet the exquisite certainty of its coming”
If Advent is supposed to be a season of calm and quiet, we’re failing already. This week our house has been a whirlwind of good but busy things. . . very few of which involved anything calm or quiet.
Nevertheless, here it is Thursday during the week set aside to “Hope.” I appreciated Nijay Gupta’s re-telling of Mary’s part of the Advent story. It’s significant, I think, that he pushes beyond the traditional attention to Mary’s inner life toward recognition that her magnificat proclaims a bold, globalized message.
In this same vein, here are a few other things I’m contemplating this week:
Stanley Haurwas gives a take on the virgin birth: “those that used the virgin birth as the test case for moral rectitude often seemed to forget who it was that was the virgin.“
An art historian explores how artists have depicted Mary through the ages (buckle up for this one. It’s thick but worth the time!)
I’m starting in on this book: The First Advent in Palestine: Reversals, Resistance, and the Ongoing Complexity of Hope by Kelley Nikondeha
This from Fleming Rutledge’s Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ: “To be a Christian is to live every day of our lives in solidarity with those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, but to live in the unshakable hope of those who expect the dawn.”
Lots of important things to think about and, perhaps, some left unsaid. But this recognition too is appropriate for a season of hope. We do not live in certainty or perfection. The world, including our own lives, is not yet what it should be.
[Oh. And this. You all, please, please follow this. You will not be sorry.]