The season of busyness is upon us. The cold air always seems to usher in a sense of urgency, hectic schedules, and sometimes downright chaos. Some of you have commented to me when asking about my schedule, “I know you are so busy at this time of year”. While it may be true of my calendar, I have also made a conscious effort to not be “busy”.
What I mean by that is I am intentionally doing the things that our tradition calls us to do now, during the season of Advent. I am waiting expectantly, I am hopefully anticipating, and I am joyfully preparing for the Nativity of Our Lord.
Here’s how, here’s why…
The birth of a child, any child, is exciting. I remember well the excitement and nervousness of waiting for both of my children to be born. It is like no other anticipation or feeling I can compare. Waiting for the celebration of the birth of Jesus feels much like those moments for me. More than anything, my life and this world need that excitement that comes with the birth of the Messiah into the world. So I am waiting enthusiastically for it. I am keeping watch for moments of the in-breaking, disruptive love of God. I am paying attention to those around me and I am sharing this excitement.
The birth of the Messiah (and yes, the 2nd Coming, too) brings hope to the world. For all of us who cling to that which is possible, who are in need of God’s redeeming love, who trust in God’s promise of truth and light and life - hope is necessary, hope preserves us. So, I am hopeful that this time of excitement and waiting will stir in me the Spirit of the God of salvation stronger than ever before.
When a child is coming we make ready the things we will need. There are things to be made ready for the Messiah too. Not the tree or the stockings or lights and what-not, but myself, my soul. I have deep work to do in order to welcome the Messiah. I pray. I listen. I seek. I accept my shortcomings and ask for forgiveness of my wrongdoings. I seek common union with others.
May God be with you and may you be with God this Advent season. And may the God of hope bring the Peace of the Christ Child – The Messiah – to each of us.
Fr. Will +