Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

Last night, as part of my Advent meditation process, I sat out by my chiminea fire, took a walk back and forth on my road a couple of times, and hung out by the fire some more. I have been thinking a lot about the whole "pregnancy" aspect of Advent this year, and have decided to consider it week by week in the manner of what the four weeks of Advent represent--Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. This first week I have been cogitating on what is it like to be people "pregnant with hope?"

As I sat back down by my fire to contemplate this in the cold, crisp, moonlit night, my fire at my front, cool wind at my back, a very "non-wintery" image came into my head--a germinating seed.

I thought of all these seeds resting below the dark ground. It's a dark place, but it is just a tad warmer than the air above it. Dark but yet enveloping, nurturing. Much like the womb is a dark, wet, nurturing place for a fetus. Some of these seeds will never germinate. Some will, but at the wrong time, and they will die. But some germinate and live.

Those seeds actually germinate in the dark, but they can't stay there. Once they've germinated, the dark is no longer a nurturing place. It's a toxic place, because they need the sun to grow and bloom. So they pop their little pale shoots up and crane their little shooty selves towards the sun. The dark is still there, at night, and in its roots. But the important thing is the dark is a temporary place and a grounding place, not the existence of its being. They MUST turn to the light to live.

As those shoots sprout leaves, they come to learn in their own way, (however plants learn) to grow towards the sun and to crane their leaves so as to get the maximum amount of sun. They come to expect a certain amount of sun. They don't always get it on that day, but there's always tomorrow. They may grow "crooked" because of the best angle of the sun, maybe are not as "perfect" as the prizewinning flower, but they grow and thrive and bloom just the same, in their own beautiful way.

So it is with the hope that lies within our bellies.

Some of the seeds of our own hope, we might not even be able to bear to allow them to germinate. But some of them do anyway, despite any delusions of control we think we have over the process. When they throw that little shoot out, they WILL rise up and lean towards the light. We can't stop it, any more than we can stop the Mississippi river in a rowboat. We are powerless, but it's not to a raging force of nature, it's to a tiny, almost imperceptible force of nature. Who ever notices a single shoot coming forth from the ground, unless we are specifically looking for it?

To me, that is what this first week of Advent is all about...this tiny shoot of our own hopes, barely imperceptible to ourselves, arising from the darkness...just as how the hope of the world arose in this tiny newborn package we call Jesus.


Lovely! I could have used that image in my talk. Imagine that - you and I on the same Adventian wavelength!



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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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