Becoming Chris Kamalski

"There's a Writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us" ~Don Miller

Tag: Advent

Ordinary Glory//Advent 2010.

Ordinary Glory/Advent 2010 (Download Large PDF here)

Ordinary Glory//Advent 2010 (Download  Small PDF here)

“The Arrival” (Preaching at 3rd Place on November 28th, 2010 to introduce Advent to my church community in Pretoria (Download Podcast here)

3rd Place has been my church community in Pretoria now for over 18 months, and much of my work investing in the apprenticing of local South African church leadership into lives of sustainable mission has taken place through growing relationships with this creative group of Jesus followers. I count myself privileged to have facilitated several retreat days of inspiration and input for their “Public Pool” (teaching team), shepherded a group of about 12 people through the Life Compass process as a means of discerning and moving into one’s vocational call in mission with God, and most recently, served as spiritual director for a group of 20-somethings who were using a clearness committee (ancient Quaker discipline to listen for God’s direction in one’s life) to help them make decisions about their future. It’s been wild figuring out how to integrate and introduce various spiritual disciplines and central concepts in spiritual formation with this group of South Africans, but so valuable as I seek to contextualize how a person grows with the Spirit within a South African context.

Thus, I couldn’t have been more excited to dream up how to introduce the season of Advent to this church. What you see above and below is the culmination of this creative project. I penned the reflections + meditations for the four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas Day, as well as submitting an image that is the background for the introductory page. There is a downloadable PDF (Large Version or Small Version) on the Field Stories page of my new website.

Join with me, and a bunch of South Africans, in expectant anticipation and loud joy as we yearn for the full presence of Jesus making all things right in our lives and world…

Anticipation Is A (Kind Of) Joy.

This last week of Advent is a time of waiting – and that has its own pleasures: the sound of Daddy’s car on the drive, the key turning in the front door. Anticipation is a joy, and at Christmas the Eve is often better than the indulgence of the Day. Our preparation is for a guest. Life and human history is not just one thing after another. God broke in on human history two thousand years ago and nothing is the same since. The world is young though it may feel old. Christmas is a birthday. We survive on the bright spots, when things are special: light at the end of the tunnel. Advent is the tunnel, and it used to have its share of fasting and repentance, sharpening the contrast between anticipation and the Event.

In what sense does God arrive at Christmas? In Innsbruck they re-enact the arrival, putting a live baby and mother on a sleigh drawn through the lighted town. That is lovely, but imaginary. The real arrival is partly in our hearts, partly in our Mass. True, that happens more than once a year. But on this feast, as on a birthday, we celebrate that Bethlehem event which showed (as birthday presents show) that we are the children God wanted, that we matter to him.


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