{Advent renouncements}

The contrast between {being humble} and {being all you can be} is glaring.  I am reminded often [mostly by my sweet husband], that what I do, as in work, does not define who I am.  Last night I read a chapter of The Gifts of Imperfection and it again helped me see this.

I want to learn to renounce what the world says is important.  And though in some ways I’m there…..I get it and embrace it, in others I’m far away. 

As I transverse through the Advent season, I really want to focus on the simple, dirty, raw and real story of Christmas.  I want this to be my prayer:

Hound us, Lord, with affection and conviction until we renounce all lesser things to follow you. Help us see that in giving up the fool’s gold of the world, we open ourselves to heavenly treasure that lasts forever. 
Amen. [Common Prayer]

I like that….{fool’s gold of the world}.

I recently read this:

Justin the Martyr wrote in the second century, “He called Abraham and commanded him to go out from the country where he was living. With this call he has roused us all, and now we have renounced all the things the world offers, even unto death.”[Common Prayer]

That’s pretty extreme…..{even unto death}.

I seriously doubt I’ll ever face death because of what I’ve renounced.  But I do face death of self…..everyday.  And while it’s a completely different thing, it is difficult to renounce what the world deems as success.  At the end of the day, I want to feel like I’ve accomplished something, and I confess, sometimes I wish I could accomplish something BIG.  Or what the world deems as big.  And that’s simply {fool’s gold of the world}.  My OT scripture reading for today is Isaiah 2:12-22.  It’s a pretty good summation that the things of this world will pass away.  Especially the stuff that makes us proud and egotistical. 

It’s early December, God, the first excitement of calendars and wreaths is passing; we wonder if we’ll be able to keep up even our simplest daily discipline. The promise and danger of Advent is that it changes our habits, even for just a few weeks. Use this time to remake us, Lord, in the image of your Son. Amen.  
[A Homemade Prayer for Tuesday in Advent 1 by Josh Thomas]

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