Posts Tagged With: Christ

Advent Waiting

Advent waiting is usually focused on remembering when Jesus was born on earth and his eventual return.  It’s a beautiful image.  Waiting in which we long for the thing before us.  We may be impatient but we can’t wait to get there.  Like waiting to open our gifts on Christmas morning.

But what about waiting that is filled with dread?  The news from a medical test, the call in the middle of the night, the rejection from a job.  How do we deal with this type of waiting?

Fortunately this story of Christ’s coming is filled with the second type of waiting.  We can learn from the stories of Mary waiting to give birth to a child she did not conceive within marriage, not sure of how others would react, and of the small family escaping to Egypt, probably always a bit fearful that an agent of Herod would find them.  Yet, even in this fear Mary shows us where we can focus while we wait and gives us the words to do just that.

My soul glorifies the Lord 
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

"Magnificat” by Macha Chmakoff

“Magnificat” by Macha Chmakoff

for he has been mindful 
   of the humble state of his servant. 
From now on all generations will call me blessed, 
for the Mighty One has done great things for me— 
   holy is his name. 
His mercy extends to those who fear him, 
   from generation to generation. 
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; 
   he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 
He has brought down rulers from their thrones 
   but has lifted up the humble. 
He has filled the hungry with good things 
   but has sent the rich away empty. 
He has helped his servant Israel, 
   remembering to be merciful 
to Abraham and his descendants forever, 
   just as he promised our ancestors.
 Luke 2:46-55


Categories: God's Story | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The Weight of Mid-Terms

It’s mid-term again – more than half way through the fall semester at the University of Cincinnati.  Really.  With a change from quarters to semesters I had a false sense that we had an endless amount of time.  But now the mid-term is upon us and it’s time to reflect on what I have finished, and what is before me.

This semester I have had more contact with individual students.  Whether it’s at some of the planned activities or in one-on-one conversations, there is a longer list of connections than in past years.  Yet, as I look at this list I am also anxious about how to strengthen these relationships – especially mentoring/discipling relationships that help individuals draw closer to Christ.  My MO is often just let come what may and then respond.  But there is also something to be said about planning to meet and study scripture with students.  By this time I had wanted to have 4 small groups going.  Well one is.  But I haven’t done much with the others.  Perhaps a 4 week study to get things going for 2 groups?

I have also put off setting up the registered student organization – and the deadline is November 15.  Okay, so this week we’ll get the frame build and then ask students to fill it in the next week.  Nothing like a deadline.  As part of this task I also want to invite students to lead, even in small ways.  To take on ownership of small parts of the groups.

And then there are the larger events ahead – pumpkin carving, an international meal, giving a paper at the SAMLA, attending new staff training, and then all the Christmas stuff.  It’s piling up.  A month ago I thought I had all the time in the world to finish everything.  Now everything is upon me and time – well it’s quite limited.

It’s difficult to write out of a place of giving and grace when I feel so tied up and always behind.  I want to talk of others, make connections with community, go on pilgrimage, and stop this uber-individualism, but I don’t feel I can.  There’s so much I need to do and for which I am responsible to other people.

Often I don’t get to the new things because the backlog of the old keeps weighing on me.  I have to finish the previous work before getting to the new.  At least that’s what my adult self seems to be saying.  After I finish the work, then I can play.  It seems like I will never get to the new, even if that new is just planning for next semester.

Then I see a sunrise as I drive in to work.  A brilliant red blaze.  This is a new morning.  I can grasp Christ, even if my world doesn’t seem to be falling into place.  Perhaps after seeing, really seeing, enough sunrises, I will turn around and get on with the new and leave behind some of the heavy tasks.  I also know that finals are ahead when all this hurrying will be over for a semester.  There will be time to breathe more freely.  Maybe even to see the life that existed in the midst of mid-terms.


Categories: Campus Ministry | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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