Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!"
- Advent Prayer, Henri J.M. Nouwen
Advent: coming, arrival. A mother is with child and He is soon to be born. How will I receive the Gift? Where will my heart be? Just was we joyfully prepare when a guest is coming to visit, I must prepare, to be ready to receive and welcome Him. Advent begins this Sunday and I will step away from the everyday hustle and bustle where life is so distracted and there doesn't seem to be time to get bills paid, the house cleaned, relationships nurtured and the garden watered, much less time to reflect upon the grace of God in my life.
But we are moving into Advent, and I will intentionally and gently move my footsteps and my heart onto a different path, one that is not distracted with the worldly things of my physical Self. My spiritual Self needs to be nurtured, and I won't find that nurturance among frenzied mobs of shoppers. So I will walk a different path. I will pray that each step will leave an imprint of light and love. I will seek to sit and be with my Lord each day, filling my spirit with quiet hope, reflecting on how to better fill my heart with Him and to live each day in grace. The normal distractions of each day will be replaced with attentive waiting, preparing for the happiest guest of all, the Christmas gift of a Saviour, born in a dark and lowly manger.
A beautifully graced woman, Britt-Arnhild, has a wonderful Advent practice and I will be sharing it with her again this year. I wish you all a blessed Advent time, in whatever manner you choose to enjoy it.