The Taser's Edge

Waiting for God…in Advent?

Several weeks ago, I started searching for an Advent devotional. I’m currently not attending a church that really does Advent (or at least not how I would do it in the me-starring, Ted-Geisel-penned If I Ran the Church, which of course has a blurb by “God” (God-in-the-image-of-me) on the back, saying how great it is), so this year is demanding a lot more individual effort than the past couple.

I had been leaning toward buying Richard Rohr’s Preparing for Christmas and then I went in a very different direction when some Facebook friends let me know that Adam Hamilton had a new Advent devotional (The Journey) out, and it was free for Kindle. (Yes, I believe Richard Rohr and Adam Hamilton are both among the best living Christian teachers.)

Aside from my interest in the past couple years of reading an Advent devotional in Advent and a Lenten devotional in Lent (mostly because I am still barely getting a clue what these seasons are about), I also stole from some monks (from monk-kind, none of whom I know personally) the idea of always reading devotional literature alongside Scripture.

On top of that, I have a theory (not a unique theory, but one I didn’t learn in seminary) that Christian theology is not Christian theology if it isn’t done devotionally. So I read some stuff devotionally that most people don’t want to read at all.

Layer on layer on layer, I’m currently devotionally reading Psalms, Proverbs, Luke (which may have just become my most-personally-connected-with-Gospel, replacing John), Adam Hamilton, the Apostolic Fathers (Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch in the past couple days), and…Simone Weil’s Waiting for God.

I say “…” because that’s all this post is about. I continue wanting to write something about the Occupy Movement. (Is it already dead as of this writing?) At the same time, I realized this morning how much I still have to learn about the transfigurative properties of Advent when it didn’t occur to me until 100 pages in that a book entitled and about Waiting for God is exactly about Advent.

These two things (Advent and OWS’s call for justice) are connected. Waiting for God, for Christians, is the heart of Advent, is waiting for the coming of the Kingdom of God, which is the coming of Peace, Love, and Justice. Simone Weil understands this (from her essay, “Forms of the Implicit Love of God” in Waiting for God):

Christ does not call his benefactors [in “The Parable” (we hope) of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25:31-46] loving or charitable. He calls them just. The Gospel makes no distinction between love of our neighbor and justice…We have invented the distinction between justice and charity. It is easy to understand why. Our notion of justice dispenses him who possesses from the obligation of giving.

Do you have an Advent devotional this year? Think of Weil’s words. Hold them up before God. Wait…and hope.