“Advent is a season of the secret of Divine Love growing in Silence…”
Advent, 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 coming of Messiah.
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 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. It 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 pregnant with the Holy.
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 my life in ever deepening ways, especially when things seem darkest.
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 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 God to come to all of us once again, in tenderness and smallness, in ways and places that we may not normally look for God: like a manger (a feeding trough to be exact) or the distressing disguise of the homeless; the numerous people waiting in line at the soup kitchen; the forgotten and lonely or those struggling with addictions; the person next to us in line at the store. All of these are moments when we can both experience and be Christ.
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, 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.