by Ryan T
Advent is a gift. It is a time to slow down, savor, reflect and see things in the light of Christ.
The Christian year divides first into the seasons that lead us through the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, and Easter. This Sunday is the beginning of Advent, which means, "a coming, approach, arrival." In this season we wait with open hands to receive the fullness of Jesus, who has come once and will come again. It is a time to say yes to the cleansing and expanding of our hearts to prepare 'a place' to welcome Jesus.
Waiting gives space for reflection and If we are honest and in touch with the world, then our Advent reflections must begin with trouble. Trouble in our world, in our communities, in our families, and in ourselves.
"The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come."
There is deep brokenness in our world that no Black Friday bargains can fix; there is a yearning for connectedness and belonging that no holiday party or family gathering can meet. The damage is too extensive and cannot be covered up no matter how hard we try. So we wait longingly; aching for God’s saving action. O God, that you would tear open the heavens and come down. Jesus is breaking open his way to you, longing to soften your hardened heart. He has come to release you from the prisons of darkness and hopelessness.
"Advent is the time when God breaks in on us with new surprises and touches us with a renewing and restoring power."
– Robert Webber
What does God have for us in this season of Advent? How can we enter into this season and receive it as a gift? What will we need to change in our lives to be able slow down long enough to get in touch with the pain and longing in our lives and that of our neighbor? I believe God can answer these questions for each of us, if we will risk asking them. I also believe we have to ask these questions with others in community, recognizing that we need each other to be able to live vulnerably, bravely, and expectantly. O God, that you would tear open the heavens and come down.
photo taken: Gozo, Malta