“Advent is a season of the secret of Divine Love growing in Silence…” Anonymous
Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which 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 the celebration of the coming of Christ.
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, harried and harassed, never taking the time to pause and reflect upon the momentous occasion of the true “Coming” that this season is based upon.
Advent is 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, and taking time to stop and reflect. For me, Advent is a time of deepening spirituality. Rather than some highfalutin concept, spirituality is the Velveteen rabbit-like experience of sensing God’s movement and Love in my life in ever deepening ways.
Advent is, as well, a specific liturgical time of sensing God’s movement in my life and in the world around me. It is an intentional time of pausing to look for the Holy Child in all the ways he comes to us. For in this Advent time, we are all called to let our lives become “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 when God comes to all of us once again…in tenderness and smallness, in ways and places that we may not normally look: like a manger (a 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 the men and women who surround us in the stores and on the streets.
Advent is 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, discovering the depths and richness of God’s love and compassion for us and the world.
So as we continue to journey on into these days of Advent, let us all pause…
and take time…
to recognize the Holy Presence that surrounds us.