Advent (Peace): Harried and Hurried?

Rev. Jan introduced us to the idea of emotional literacy, and I realized, through her reflection, that for most of my life I have been in touch with the emotion called “peacefulness”.  Peacefulness is the feeling of connection.  The sense of “connection” has appeared in my experience more than almost any other that I can identify.  I have this always recurring feeling of being connected or being disconnected from others.  Isn’t that stunning?  Peacefulness has these dimensions:  the feeling of being connected, or the feeling of being cut off from connection or somewhere in between.

All of the Winter holiday traditions cherish and cultivate light in the midst of darkness. Marcus Borg notes that the most significant threat to this season (when some in our culture want to complain about the “threats to Christmas”) is the pressure to lose our peace in the midst of it!

Whatever you call these Winter Holidays, do you find your sense of connection increasing or decreasing?  If this season of cultivating new light in the midst of darkness is leaving you less peaceful, what is the cause?  What are you doing or submitting to or being bullied by that is stealing your sense of connection to others, to the world, to the divine, to your deepest and best self?

If you know that you are losing your connections during this time of the year, what are you going to do about it? This is the question that shepherds in the dark of night, wise men searching the sky, and those seeking to renew the Temple with only one day’s worth of oil for the lamps had to answer.  Something about this time of the year asks us to consider what is stealing our connection–and what we are going to do about it.

Bob Patrick


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