Tuesday, November 27, 2007

like God's house

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob," sings Isaiah this week.

At the beginning of this Advent season, I wonder what it would be like to get ourselves ready for that trip--to God's house, where the world is transformed. People learn to live in beautiful ways, together, old disputes get settled, and weapons become farming tools.

This week, I've been asking people: what makes a place feel like "home" to you?

What do you think God's home would look like?

If Isaiah's image is true, I notice a couple of strange things: this home isn't a refuge for me, but a place for "all nations" to be together, and to build peace together. Also, God's home isn't a place where I stop working. I just trade in whatever self-interested tools I was using for garden tools--presumably, to grow the food that will set the feast on the big table we'll share.

As we're drawn closer to Christmas, I feel the pull of expectations and busy-ness in our world--so many things we ought to do and buy. I want to resist making my celebration of Christ's birth into something that commodified. My current obsession is figuring out how to make things for people, instead of buy them--something about putting my labor into creating things feels really good. Also, I can recycle materials in my creating. (I also have this hopeful idea that it may also prepare me for the creative work I'm called to in God's house--perhaps Isaiah might have continued, after "swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks" by saying "knives into knitting needles and chains into sewing thread" or "firearms into stoves.")

What I mean to say is that I suggest we take up a new set of spiritual and physical practices this Christmas season. Instead of letting ourselves get caught up in our culture's "usual" ways of celebrating Christmas, let's use these weeks as a time to do things that will help make this place look a little more like God's home.

I'd be thrilled if you'd share your ideas!


Anonymous said...

Along the same lines Rev. This morning I set out to buy some wood to make small, small bowls for my family this Christmas. Before I could get to the street my mind was racing of how to out do myself. And sure enough I eyed some scrap wood someone was throwing out. FREE, Woo Hoo!!! Over breaks in my day I cut and chipped myself the beginnings of seven bowls. But much more, the beginnings of seven seeds of love coming from the heart, rather than from China.


CresceNet said...
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feminist_mom said...

hey, i read a great little article about students at Doane College this week saying they have a ROOTS and SHOOTS group that has come up with a way to make GREAT totes from crappy plastic bags.. i will try to find the article online as you might like it and to try it as plastic bags abound everywhere! They are even creating a u tube from it. How do you google a u tube? it will show how to make them.... you can carry FOUR heavy biology books in one if you can lift it!! or great for YULE LOGS!love, mom