When you think of Advent and Christmas, what comes to mind?
Mangers? Sheep and oxen? Snow and hot chocolate? God with us?
All good answers. But we’ve talked about that stuff before! Let’s face it, after years and years (and years) of Advent, we could be tricked into thinking we’ve mined the depths of the season, and there is nothing left to discover.
But this, of course, would be a huge mistake… because there is always more to discover.
Advent is about the anticipation of GOD taking on FLESH. God coming entering into God’s creation, taking on our skin, purifying our world, and birthing something new in the midst of it.
And there’s something… deeply sexual about the whole thing!
So what if we explore that for Advent 2015? What might we learn about our relationship with God, with one another, with the creation and with our own bodies?
And how might it fill us again with wonder: Wonder at the Divine Mystery of the Incarnation!
This week we start with what it means to be pure and holy, and how it relates to sex, to God, and to Christmas!
Another ecentric dude, Jared Both, takes us through an introduction to John the Baptist, looking at who he was, and what he had to say.
The text, Mark 1:1-8
1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; 3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’ ”
4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
“Son of Man” was an apocalyptic phrase that lived in the imagination of the Jewish people. At the time of Jesus, people were looking for the Son of Man, the one who would overthrow their enemies and bring them victory and peace.
But things aren’t going to go exactly as they planned.
How do we respond when the story changes, when things get flipped on to their head?
Chris Cuthill, professor at Redeemer University (teaching such fine courses as art, art history and pop-culture) looks at times of great change throughout history, the evils and fears present in them, and at how Christians have responded using Apocalyptic language and imagery.
He also talks about Pope-pooping devils, Trans-Ams covered in Revelation, the spirituality of zombies, and Homer Simpson.
It’s a real good one.
Raw demo of Brett Klassen/DJ CLUTCH’s cover of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - starts 39 minutes in.