upper room daily devotions

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Phyllis Tickle - Spiritual Disciplines Video

Advent is wholly concerned with time - the beginning of new time and the ending of old time. Throughout Advent, Christians prepare their hearts for the coming of the Christ-child and for the second coming of Christ the judge, who comes to right the injustices of this world and to redeem the brokenhearted and downtrodden. This season is often confusing for many lay people. When the apocalyptic stories from both the Old and New Testaments are read, people are left wondering why such strange stories are being told during this season of waiting for "Sweet Little Jesus Boy." Yet, to be a faithful Christian is to learn to live in a different time - time that ushers in an end to the pain and injustice of this world in order to make way for the fullness of time lived completely in God. So, while there is much joy in Advent and Christmas, much hope, much light, and much to sing about, there is little "sweet" about these seasons that bear witness to God's light of peace piercing the darkness of our world. One only need read the Magnificat or the Benedictus to learn the core meaning of this most precious season.

Christians - faithful Christians - discipline their lives for living in different time. From prayer to special holy days to rituals that bind us to the past while making room for the future, it is our holy and sacred duty to continually place ourselves in a receptive posture to receive the gift of God's holy time.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Phyllis Tickle, in which she talks about the power of spiritual disciplines to bring us into God's time. I hope you enjoy. As I continue to work on my doctoral project about Sabbath, I will post more and more videos from those who have gifted me with their wisdom. I thank Phyllis more than she can ever know for spending this day with me and for sharing in laughter, in story, and in life. From one Southerner to another, I can say honestly that "she's good people." Thank you, Phyllis.

The question I ask tonight is, "How is Advent helping you reshape time?" Or, perhaps, "How is the time of Advent reshaping you?"

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