#AdventBookClub – day 6 “Sweet Death”

The phrase which stood out for me from today’s reflection was: “Our desire (so often) is to be satisfied with a provisional and limited harvest of grace and love.” I think that’s true, and I wonder if it is sometimes because we are afraid of what might come with something less ‘provisional and limited’ – afraid to go deeper, to wrestle with the tough stuff, to allow ourselves to confront the full reality of life and – yes – of death.

It is far easier to carry on engaging at the surface level, to limit our engagement with God, with the world, with ourselves, to what feels comfortable and manageable. But if we do, I wonder what we miss out on? We might or might not be able to insulate ourselves from the harsher, starker realities of the world (though in the end, we really can’t avoid them). But we might also isolate ourselves from the deeper beauties and joys.

When Jesus speaks of offering “life in all its fullness” I don’t take that to mean ‘the best kind of life’ or ‘all the good things in life’. I take it to mean that he is inviting us into the fullest, deepest, most honest and whole engagement with life (and therefore necessarily with death), with God, with the world, and with ourselves. With all the pain and beauty and frustration and joy that brings. To engage far beyond the “provisional and limited harvest of grace and love” and seek the unlimited, unconditional love and grace of God, with all that that implies. That’s life in all its fullness. It’s quite and invitation. I wonder if we are ready to accept?

This year for #AdventBookClub a group of us are reading “In The Bleak Midwinter” by Rachel Mann. Join us on Facebook or Twitter for daily reflections and discussions. We are also raising money for the Trussell Trust: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adventbookclub2019.


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