Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fourth Sunday in Advent - Year B

painting of the Annunciation

This week's lectionary readings are:

In the Samuel reading, I was struck by the idea that God lives and wants to live in a temporary and portable structure, yet is happy for us to live in more permanent and stable structures. For me, this actually reinforces the idea that God is everywhere - or where He is needed - not just in a temple or church. And that God is eternal. Because, even a "permanent" house only lasts for some hundreds of years (and stays in one place.) A temporary shelter can be rebuilt and repaired in place to place forever.

The second Luke reading was the most advent-like reading, in my mind, of any that we have read this advent. I read somewhere that Mary's last line in the reading - "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38 WEB) - is very similar to what the prophets have said when they accepted their duties. This is a much stronger role for Mary than usually proposed, and I think well deserved. Mary has always struck me as a very strong woman and well worthy of being a role mode. However you interpret her story, strictly secularly or purely religious or anywhere in between, she was a strong and amazing woman.

The art this week is from my new favorite artist, He Qi. His website is full of amazing religious paintings and embroideries that, to me, strike a strong balance between historical accuracy, expected symbolism, and modern accessibility.
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