Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Two excellent posts about Advent.
Advent – A Humanist Adventure (1984) from The Sermons and Musings of Carl J. Westman, DD.
Perhaps it is a cliché to remind ourselves that the reality is that Christmas celebrations are a blend of many customs, brought not only from the legends, music, poetry and theology of Christianity, but also from the evergreens of the German forests, the pagan celebrations of Rome, and other sources. Clichés may not be new, sparkling insights, but they are frequently repetitions of truth and folk wisdom. The winter solstice has always been a drama of the human adventure, a time of celebration of nature’s reliable cycles, a time to recall the trials and joys of human liberation, a time to confront justice unfulfilled, a time to meditate on the idea of the holy family and what makes it holy, a time to re-assert hope over fear.
Celebrating Advent without misrepresentation, sentimentalism or parody (and a couple of recommended books) by Andrew Brown
The issue with the word 'coming' in this religious context is that for anyone to 'come' there has to be a 'there' from which to come and an associated divine will or desire for that someone to make the journey to 'here'.

But in the radical and skeptical liberal religious tradition to which we belong are any of us *really* able to say there exists a transcendent 'there' (heaven) from which to come and an immanent 'here' (earth) to which God (or God's representative) may arrive?

Both these articles beautifully articulate the difficulties I have with Advent, and offer constructive ways to look at it - the first from a UU humanist perspective, the second from a liberal Christian one.

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