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This week we enjoyed Florida's 'winter' weather and had an outdoor service while continuing our Advent series on the concept of gifts. We considered how the gift can become limited by entering into an economic world, and how this understanding of the limited gift shapes our experience of Advent.
During this week's outside service, we delved further into the concept of the gift, this week focusing on how it can be limited. First in the sermon we considered the Santa Claus story. In this story we are so familiar with, Santa Claus delivers millions of gifts in one night. While so often we pervert the concept of gift by feeling obligated to give a gift in return, with Santa Claus we find that we cannot reciprocate a gift to him. In this way, the idea of a pure gift exists within this myth, which removes the obligation that gifts often leave us with.
Advent is similar to this Santa Claus gift concept. In the silence of night, a gift--the birth of Christ--is slipped into the world. We cannot feel obligated to give the divine a gift in return because this gift was given purely in silence, without our awareness until the gift has arrived. While the gift is pure, it enters into an economic world, thereby making the gift limited. However, we reflected on how Advent celebrates this paradox of the gift, despite its limitations.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.
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