THE PREGNANT PAUSE OF ADVENT
Advent is derived from the Latin word adventus, means “a coming.” In the busy days of the Christmas season, it seems Advent has become more of ‘a coming and going' and rushing about than a pregnant pausing to celebrate the birth of Him who is Divine Hope.
One of the things that bothers me the most about this time of year, more than the blatant and rampant consumerism, is the edgy “busy’ness” of it all. Like hamsters on a treadmill going nowhere fast, we run from store to store, party to party, event to event, never taking the time to pause and reflect upon the momentous occasion of the true “Coming” that this season is based upon.
Advent was and is meant to be a time of pausing, a time of seeking the Great Silence away from the rush and temptation of every little thing that tugs at our attention.
Advent is about taking the time to ‘stop’ time: to reflect upon the miracle of the Infinite rending the veil of time, thereby making all that is finite holy and sacred.
Advent is a time of deepening spirituality. And rather than some highfalutin concept, spirituality is more of a Velveteen Rabbit-like experience of sensing God’s movement and Love in our lives in ever deepening ways, especially when things seem darkest.
Advent is also a specific “liturgical time” that is meant to provide us with a chronological space for sensing God’s movement in our lives and in the world around us. It is an intentional time of pausing to look for the Holy in all the ways it is embodied around us. During Advent, we are reminded to allow the Spirit to transform our lives into “living mangers” – places where Christ can be born anew and afresh in us and in a world crying out for Divine Love.
This time of year is a time for seeking and seeing all the ways God comes to us, in tenderness and smallness, in ways and places that we may not normally look for God: places like a manger (an animal feeding trough to be exact) or the distressing disguise of the homeless; or the numerous people waiting in line at the soup kitchen, or the forgotten and lonely, or those struggling with addictions, or the person next to us in line at the checkout. All of these are moments God provides us to both see and be Christ to someone and at the same time, do it as unto Him..
In these last days of Advent, may this be a time when God comes to each and every one of us in deliberate ways, ways known only to us, special ways that afford us the opportunity to renew our faith, and to discover the depths and richness of God’s love and compassion for us individually and the world for which He gave His life on the Cross.
As we continue to journey on into the final days of Advent,
let us all pause...
and take time...