Christmas synchroblog on wordpress and some [serving] suggestions:
"And Jesus doesn't always give us what we expect either. We welcome him as a cute little baby but if we continue to journey with him, we soon realize that he wants to turn our world upside down. A child born in a stable is much easier to cope with than a revolutionary leader. This month's synchroblog is centered around the unexpected consequences of our journey with Jesus. Where has it led us that we never anticipated? In what ways has it really turned our world upside down?"Moving from my advent blog, gifts from the ground; hope for the earth to realizing even before the liturgical and popular celebrations of Jesus' birth on 24 and 25 December we've long known so much beyond the fulfillment of the Advent texts we've been hearing...
Before a baby arrives, we usually have a clue about the baby's parents, about some of their other relatives along with their backgrounds and experiences; we have more than a hint about the baby's geographical place on the planet along with their social and cultural milieu. Despite the quantifiable info, there's so much we don't know about ways that baby become child become teenager and then adult will engage the world, make a name in the news or on the street or possibly fade into oblivion. On the surface, the life of Jesus of Nazareth is pretty much parallel to almost anyone else's in that time and place. You know the narrative!
To quote from my Advent blog, "Though it's common to hear Christianity referred to as 'spiritual' practice, the way of Jesus is heavily economic, highly political and hardly ascetic in its celebration of gifts from the ground, in its perspective that insists on the interdependence of all life, in its historical affirmation of human sexuality and in its charge to care for all creation..."
Maybe especially though for sure hardly exclusively, as church bodies that grew out of the Reformation, we engage the public square and live as political, cultural and economic beings every bit as fully in the world as within the gathered assembly of the church. It's not solely "Jesus and me" but more expansively "Jesus and me in the world and for the world!" from Advent 2B: "...in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home." 2 Peter 3:13
Unexpected consequences of my journey with Jesus? Like Jesus, I was born into linear time and measurable geography. Forget about Christmas 2011—have I been getting what I expected? No, hardly in the least. I prepared for a life of service to church and world, expecting to participate in the economic, political and not ascetic way of Jesus that celebrates all creation; academically and practically I prepared to engage the public square, to challenge and maybe subvert the status quo; I expected to live at least somewhat counter-culturally. I knew the road would be rocky, but never expected to journey alone for so many years and fully expected eventually to come out on the other side of death into a relatively broad space where my participation would be welcomed and valued.
At the end of my Advent synchroblog, I mentioned "a world that cries out for cooperation, interdependence and redemption." Will no one cooperate with, depend upon me, so I might be redeemed, bought back into the land of the living? How else can we live but with each other? How else will I live again?
other synchroblog participants:
• Glenn Hager, Breathe, Underwear for Christmas
• Jeremy Myers, Till He Comes, Unexpected Gifts from Jesus
• Jeff Goins, GoinsWriter, Day After Christmas
• Wendy McCaig, Unwanted gifts...
• Christine Sine, GodSpace, The Wait Is Over - What Did I Get?
• M Kettleson, The Real Journey, Following the Baby We Just Celebrated
• Kathy Escobar, pain relief not pain removal
• Ellen Haroutunian, Jesus came, did you get what you expected?...
• Carol Kuniholm, Words Half Heard, What the Magi Found
• Sally Coleman, Eternal Echoes, unexpected...