The Ridiculous Hospitality of Advent

Posted by on 12.21.07 | 3 Comments
Filed Under Uncategorized

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168

Warning: Illegal string offset 'status_txt' in /home/virtu151/public_html/wp-content/plugins/share-and-follow/share-and-follow.php on line 1168


When a stranger appears at your door,
feed him for three days
before asking who he is,
where he’s come from,
where he’s headed.
That way, he’ll have strength
enough to answer.
Or, by then you’ll be
such good friends
you don’t care.

These words by Rumi-esque Arab-American poet Naomi Shihib Nye have echoed in my heart since I read them on Spiritual Zest as I updated the Virtual Tea House for December. Got me to wondering some ‘what if’s”.

What if… the real message of the Messiah is: that living inhospitably disconnected from the earth, the plants and animals, the seasons and the wind–and of course from each other–will not, ever, bring us joy?

What… if the Stranger that walks with us and around us in the Grocery Outlet and pumps our gasoline at the ARCO is here to teach us that the importance we place on ‘us’ versus ‘other’ is outdated and worse, dooming us to live in inhospitable abject poverty of spirit?

What if… the once and future Messiah’s message about reconciliation and redemption is this: only in close and vibrant, and often difficult, connection can we find the ‘raw edges’ in ourselves that are ripe for transforming our individual and cultural depression and anxiety into joy and peace?

What if…we walked carefully from Solstice where the physical darkness and light are changing balance to Advent where we acknowledge that the hospitable Light is born anew–not outside of us, but in us and through us?

What if…the only Stranger we meet during this season of the changing of the light, is the impoverished One inside of us that wants to isolate and protect itself and what it thinks it owns or knows? Or even more convoluted–protect its sense of disconnection, depression, anxiety or desolation as the only things it thinks it ‘has’?

What if…we invited that sweet, shy, convoluted Stranger that resides in each of us to tea today and laughed and joked and gently prodded him/her into admitting that it would much prefer to be outside of its prison walls, ‘mixing it up’?

3 days of caring for the Stranger in this way…
…”feed him for three days
before asking who he is,
where he’s come from,
where he’s headed.
That way, he’ll have strength
enough to answer.
Or, by then you’ll be
such good friends
you don’t care.”

By the end of 3 days of this kind of ridiculously hospitable behavior we’ll be dancing in the streets as Advent dawns. No bother that our hearts know that our new Friend will cyclically be shut out and will become the Stranger again. Let’s dance here, in this hospitable moment.

Advent is the time of starry-eyed wonder at the magnificence of the human’s ability to reach beyond, to open to hope. To invite the Stranger to dance with us…at least for 3 days…or until we no longer care where s/he came from or is headed.

clip_image002[4]

You are each invited to this Hospitality Party, no matter where on the globe you live. The Party is simple: open to the Stranger within, and then of course, without. Just be sure in the process that you don’t make any distinctions between the two…

With love and joy,

Beth, VTH Host

]]>

timeline

3 Comments

have your say

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. Subscribe to these comments.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

:

: