3rd week of Advent — “Standing on My Head”

Upside-Down Advent 2015By Sarah Park

I frequently, and intentionally, stand on my head. It is a part of my yoga practice.

Things certainly look different from that perspective. For one thing, you really notice the crumbs underneath the table which may have gone unseen. And, it feels dramatically different when you turn what is supposed to be the up-side, down. All of the sudden there is an unsteadiness in place of that which is so familiar, so known and comfortable. There is work required to maintain the alignment that would be second nature if only you were right-side up. Plus, there is a whole lot of fear!  At any moment you feel as though you may come crashing down in a heap. The posture of upside down-ness requires a conscious and continual coming back to center in order to be held in such new territory.

In my mind this isn’t unlike the story of Mary or the many, many times in my life when things have been turned up-side down. That which feels so unfamiliar, so full of uncertainty and difficulty actually draws me closer to God — and I am held.

Wherever you are at this moment — right-side up or up-side down — close your eyes, remember God’s promise. And let your spirit rejoice!

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3rd Week of Advent
December 13, 2015

Luke 3:7–18
7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”
13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely —
be content with your pay.”
15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with[a] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.