| ANNE WILLIAMSON |
I plan to practice Taizé for Advent. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you're not alone. Both are "churchy" words, not part of most folks' everyday lexicon. Even for people who recognize these words, they may not be able to explain them.
We frequently run into the "churchy" or spiritual word problem at WAYfinding. Anytime you bring together individuals with different beliefs and backgrounds, words can be barriers. Heck, words can be barriers for siblings raised in the same home, worshipping at the same synagogue. Spirit, God, reconciliation, calling, justice, Universe, soul, light, darkness, blessing, Jesus, consciousness, grace, love, and on and on, these words elicit different emotional responses, mean different things to different people. Real comprehension of what another person is saying is not easy. Sometimes we don't know what we're saying ourselves.
So, what do we do? Is the answer to all slowly acquire the same lexicon with the same meaning ascribed to each word? Maybe. This certainly can make community easier. Personally, though, I hope this isn't our solution. It would mean the eventual subjugation of all diversity to one dominant perspective - impossible, uninteresting, dangerous and an incorrect representation of "g/God." Personally, I hope we can be more creative than this. I hope we can learn to be more okay with ambiguity, mystery, freedom.
Once again, then, my plan: I am going to practice Taizé (an ecumenical monastic community in France, but for my purposes, the contemplative prayer services they use and are offered throughout Indianapolis each Sunday) for Advent (the four Sundays and accompanying weeks before Christmas when Christians lean into the Spirit as they wait for the incarnation of God). That is, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I'm going to do something meaningful to me, something that reminds me to listen and be love, amidst the craziness of the season. That's all. I may say "Taizé for Advent," but what I really mean is "or something like it."
This is all the LISTENing, LEARNing and LOVEing I'm offering this week, so I'll close by asking, "What practice would remind you to listen and be love this holiday season?" Be still and open to what may come. Your answer may require breaking with tradition or living more fully into one. It will definitely require your intention; hence, why I'm asking you now. The season will be here soon. Let's lean into the Spirit, love, whatever you call it, together.