Monday, November 29, 2010


Rowan Williams:
We turn our minds to the universal longing for God that is given voice in the Jewish scripture, the yearning towards the 'desire of all nations' ... For the people of God in Jewish scripture, loyalty to the covenant meant above all the forsaking of idols: the task is not to make sense of the world, beginning from unaided human resource, but to let ourselves be given sense purely by the summons of God. This was Israel's own story: being led out of slavery and given shape and solidity by the unexpected presence and pressure of God ... And in Advent, in that day, we all become - as it has been said - Jews once more ... We are perpetually looking to and giving thanks for an uncovenanted event, a transforming newness, the history of Israel and Jesus; we are perpetually 'on the eve' of God's coming, knowing and not knowing what it will be ... Advent, we have said, sets out before us the richness of religious eros; it is a season of beautiful, elegiac hymns, voicing our longing to be spoken to, judged and absolved. But in its deeper aspect, its pushing of us back into the experience of Israel and Israel's unconsoled rejection of idols, it also shows us also the danger of religious eros, its capacity to become another vehicle for human self-reflection. The Christian, in the Advent season above all, must learn something of God's own simultaneous 'yes' and 'no' to all religious aspiration and expectation.
HT: More than a via media

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