The Gospel of Thomas for Advent with Cynthia Bourgeault
November 30 – December 25, 2013
Back by popular demand! Following last spring’s stunningly successful introductory e-course on the Gospel of Thomas, Cynthia Bourgeault will return this December to lead a first-of-its kind Advent Gospel of Thomas e-retreat.
Using the format of the Advent calendar — a saying for each day of the 25 days from the first Sunday in Advent through Christmas — we will allow the Gospel of Thomas to lead us further into those great Advent themes — watchfulness, spiritual generativity, the fullness of time, the play of light and darkness — and to prepare our hearts for a truly blessed Christmas. Each day you will receive a carefully selected wisdom saying from the Gospel of Thomas, a brief commentary by Cynthia Bourgeault, and a suggestion for daily spiritual practice to take you deeper into the profound mysteries of this holy season.
Those of you who took the spring Thomas e-course will have some sense already of how keenly attuned this gospel is to the spirit of Advent. By far the most important in that trove of sacred texts recovered in the Egyptian desert near Nag Hammadi in 1945, it is slowly winning the acknowledgement of both scholars and church hierarchy as an authentic and early Christian text, with a particular sensitivity to the wisdom teaching of Jesus. Inner awakening, present moment awareness, and spiritual rebirth are all core themes, beautifully showcased within the Advent season.
The sayings selected for our Advent journey will have only a small overlap with those already presented in the initial course, allowing those who have already made their acquaintance with Thomas to continue to break new ground. Roughly 19 of the 25 sayings will be brand new, and those we have explored already will shine very differently within an Advent context, with a new commentary highlighting the seasonal connection. For those joining our Thomas study for the first time, the core introductory material from the spring course will be made easily available to you in the resources section of our new course, so that you can hit the ground running.
As a final bonus, the Thomas readings have been specifically selected to follow and mirror the Advent lectionary readings from the canonical gospels, this year based in the gospel of Matthew. The intention is to allow you to taste the richly complementary dialogue between familiar Christian reference points and the profound new horizons opened up in this quintessential Wisdom gospel.
Cynthia Bourgeault is an Episcopal priest, contemplative Christian, and pioneer of interspirituality who is profiled by S&P as a Living Spiritual Teacher. In addition to the introductory e-course on the Gospel of Thomas, she also has created two other popular S&P e-courses on Centering Prayer and The Wisdom Jesus.
To join this very special Advent e-retreat, click on the “Subscribe to E-Course” button below. You will receive daily emails starting with an introductory email on November 30, then daily emails through Christmas, each with a saying from the Gospel of Thomas, a commentary by Cynthia, a practice suggestion, and a link to the online Practice Circle where Cynthia will join us for a discussion of the day’s saying.
4 CEHs for chaplains available