Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Spirituality of Advent, Day 1, Week 2

Based on the website I wrote about at the start of Advent, the second candle represents preparation.  Spiritually, it is preparation for the experience of the coming of the Savior. Without the Savior coming, there would be no resurrection based on Christian tradition.  Thus, this is an important preparation.

Preparation for welcoming the Savior.  And when welcoming the Savior, welcoming all of creation.  Welcome the sick.  Welcoming the poor.  Welcoming the hungry.  Welcoming the thirsty.  Welcoming those who need people in their lives.  Welcoming all.  Because Jesus, in Matthew 25, talked about how each time when we do something for one of the least of humanity (whether naked, sick, poor, hungry, in prison, etc.) we do it for Him.

I see being prepared and being hopeful as going hand in hand.  One way to be prepared to welcome anyone is to be hopeful that it will be a positive interaction--under any circumstances.  To be hopeful that the good in the human spirit will dominate.  To be hopeful that no matter what has happened in the past the good in me and the good in the person I am meeting with will come out in a conversation and interaction.

I am prepared to think that everyone has a good side.

But that is not all that preparation is about, of course.  During this week, I think I will talk about preparation for an examination of my life to see how I would measure up if Jesus returned now (the coming back of the Savior), preparation for my own mortality (one last entry after last week's series and some thinking about what would happen if I did not have any more time to prepare for Jesus), preparation to address my own vulnerabilities, preparation for running, preparation for teaching, and preparation for cooking. 

The last three are preparations for things I love doing in life and good examples of the importance of preparation on a day to day basis.  They will serve as archetypal representations of preparing for things on my own or with others.  This should be a fascinating week to explore ideas that are critical to the idea of preparation both in spirit and non-spiritual issues that are at least tangentially related to spirituality.  

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