Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Advent 2

OK, now I'm behind. Not on my interior Advent, but on writing about it. I got so engrossed in the plaster-and-paint issues yesterday ~ which only goes to make the point. Advent occurs in the midst of all the muck.

Some brief notes from yesterday, illustrated via the Iona nunnery, gone since the Reformation:

I was glad when they said to me,
"Let us go to the house of the LORD!"
~ Psalm 122:1

Much that was is lost. For none now live who remember it.
~ Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Rings

A lot of my friends are mystified by the church thing in my life. Maybe I will write about that at some length after Advent. For now (since I am a day behind!) I will just say that it's a mystery to me, too. I do not have my friend Lynda's string of pins for thirteen years of perfect Sunday school attendance. I do not look like Mrs. Osteen in a pink suit and pearls. I schlep around in my jeans and clogs, nails always breaking off ~ and I have a life hugely full of the light of faith.

The church, whether you are thinking in terms of buildings or community, concrete or ineffablility, long ago past or paint-splattered present, is a repository for that light.

Barbara Brown Taylor has a wonderful sermon in which she speaks about a visit she made to the ruins of a church in present day Turkey (I think), and about her understanding of what can happen to a building and its community. A community and its building.

I can't entirely explain it. But tending that light is a good thing. And remarkably, even when the buildings turn to ruins and the community vanishes, the light remains.

4 comments:

aamy said...

Quite new to blogger,I found your blog really interesting.

Paul said...

All that faith is just fine, but if you want the plastering done, I'd buy a trowel.

Kathryn said...

I love that picture.

I'd be interested in what you have to say about the church thing in your life. I find it quite impossible to explain for myself and my friends are also mystified.

Cynthia said...

Beautifully expressed -- especially about stuff that's so hard to express.