For lo, the days are hastening on, by prophets seen of old, when, with the ever circling years, shall come the time foretold, when peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendors fling, and all the world give back the song which now the angels sing. It Came upon the Midnight Clear
There is an acute awareness of time as people of faith approach the manger. We are awaken to the reality that it is the final month of the year. We are alert to our own age, that there was another candle on our birthday cake. We are aware that no matter how many calendars we receive in the mail or buy...we don't control our time as much as we like to believe. There is a vulnerability this time of year. Perhaps that is why we hustle and bustle every where, trying our best to cram life into the dwindling days of the year. Yet, when we gaze upon God's love dancing in the Christ's eyes as he lay in the manger we confront God's vulnerability. God who chose downward, rather than upward, mobility to break into our world. It is good to pause and embrace our own limitations, rather than running from them as this final month circles around us.
God's time is always different that our time. While we know that, we'd rather God conform to our calendars. Advent should awaken us to the importance of time. Advent is about awakening to God's movement, God's light shining forth. We practice this in Advent, not so we can be done with it until next December...but so that as we enter into 2014 we will continue such awareness.
Jesus was raised within the Jewish understanding of time; where God's time/realm ran parallel to human realm (earth) and time. Those two often intersected in amazing ways. God's realm was not just some heaven light years away. The prophets of old tried to point people's attention toward that truth. But, our human capacity for complacency is as true today as when Isaiah tried to stir up a sense of urgency before the exile.
How is God's light shined in your life these past seventeen days? Have you noticed God's movement? And has that been in expected ways or has there been serendipitous surprises?
For me, one place I felt God's presence was this past weekend. On Saturday, our church hosted a concert featuring the music of this sacred season. It was wonderful to sit surrounded by the melody of carols that proclaim the truth of Emmanuel ~ God with us and for us. Then on Sunday, our children showed us beautiful pieces of artwork that depicted the birth of Jesus. It was amazing two days of creativity.
When we immerse and open ourselves to that, we encounter peace. When we immerse and open ourselves to God, we are spurred to share those moments with others, which is an expression of holy love.
I hope you will find moments in this final week before gathering around the manger to be at peace and moments to share God's love. And may such practices not cease when we turn the calendar to 2014, but guide us every day in the New Year.