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  • The Kaleid Team

Advent: Embracing Paradox

Dear Kaleid Ladies,

Good morning! 

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been reminding ourselves that Advent welcomes us into spaces of transition with all of their hope, pain, fear, longing, and desire. We have considered Mary’s delicate, trusting surrender and the Holy Spirit’s hidden, durable power.

We have seen that Advent is a season of groaning in the dark, scanning the horizon for the sure glimmer of illuminating love-light. 

And this week we anticipate Jesus, who breaks onto the scene embodying the Advent-tension: 

In Matthew 1…

Jesus is Son of Abraham, Son of David, Son of Joseph--Israel’s Messiah. He is Son of Rahab, Son of Ruth, Son of Exile--Mary’s baby.

In Mark 1…

Jesus is baptized with water, tempted in the wilderness, pushed to the lonely places. He is preacher, rabbi, healer, restorer, and crowd-generator. He is, “my Son, whom I love; with whom I am well pleased.”

In Luke 1…

Jesus is Son of God, joyfully heralded by angels and powerfully ushered to humanity by the Holy Spirit. He is also the cousin and son of women who bear shame. Elizabeth and Mary - one painfully shaped by her barrenness and the other vulnerably running to a loving confidante.

In John 1…

Jesus is life-light entering and overcoming darkness. He is eternal Word made human speech, dwelling among us. He is Lamb of God and Son of Man.

In each gospel, we recognize the paradox of Jesus, the God-man. We see that Jesus Himself willingly becomes a part of the transitional nature of Advent: the now and the not yet. 

Jesus holds the tension, too. He is not just God acting as a man. He is God and He is man. Both-And. Simultaneously. It’s the great mystery that the creed-writers wrestled with when they wrote that they believed in “one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man…

Jesus knows the tension of Advent because He embodies the tension of Advent. And so we bring our complexities to Him and we trust Him to knowingly and tenderly hold them, even as He holds us, even as Mary held Him, even as Elizabeth no doubt held Mary.

As Fr. Richard Rohr says, we must “be willing to admit the contradictions inside us, and still let God love us in that partial state. Once we agree to see our own shadow side, our own foolishness, our own sin and still know that God has not abandoned us, we become a living paradox that reveals the goodness of God.”* 

May it be so.

Blessings on this final week of Advent, beautiful ladies. We invite you to light a candle today and ask God to hold you in light, darkness, and shadow. We love you!

The Kaleid Team

P.S. Sign up to join the Kaleid journey in 2020. We will meet bi-weekly together, in a small group, to see ourselves, others, and our communities through new lenses. We can’t wait to share the journey with you!

*Found on page 52 of Richard Rohr’s book Preparing for Christmas.

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