Our bloggers are delving deeply into Advent’s work. They’re writing about the bottomless practice of watching and waiting for God’s presence to be born into the world again.
At An Unfinished Symphony, Deb Vaughn invites: The empty chair at the fireplace edge beckoned welcomed invited me. “Come and sit” “Come and listen” “Come and just BE”
And so I sat and rocked and listened and heard,
“Now go out and listen some more…”
Reflecting on Psalm 27, Diana Trautwein at Just Wondering takes to heart the Psalmist’s praise: “one thing I will seek after.” With all of the distractions of the season, she brings us back to “one thing.” A season of waiting in her own life. “turned out to be a gigantic blessing in disguise. For those months, I spent every morning in a chair in my living room, working through the morning prayer of A Celtic Daily Prayer. And it began, every single day, with these words from Psalm 27. “One thing I asked of the Lord, this is what I seek . . .” ONE THING. The most important thing of all — intentional time in God’s presence.” Advent gives us that gift, if we take it.
There are plenty of obstacles to the presence of God in the world, as Allison Wehrung observes at Girl and Glue Stick. Reflecting on Advent’s work of waiting for God, she says, “There’s a lot going on. How are we supposed to spend a season focused on hope and love and peace in the middle of all that?” Also drawing on Psalm 27, she says, sometimes God’s presence in the world is evident. “Sometimes we have to look a little harder. Here’s to hoping that whichever version of gold and God we’re seeing right now, we can join the psalmist’s belief that we will see the goodness of the Lord right here and right now — and that’ll we’ll do our part to make it happen.” Allison’s work is above, shared with her kind permission.
Nancy Wallace is journeying through Advent reflecting on the word for each day at Seeker. She writes about the experience of being in the wilderness as a place where we meet up with God. In that empty place, God has some questions for us.
- what are you doing here?
- where are you going?
- will you listen to my voice?
- do you trust me?
When we can’t imagine the sorrow other people have experienced, Jan Edmiston suggests that we try harder. At A Church for Starving Artists, she calls us to imagine the suffering of others, even when we haven’t experienced it personally. “God is also the Creator of the human imagination. As difficult as it is to go there, we could all use less individualism and more corporate empathy. We could all stand to stop saying, “There but for the grace of God go I” and start standing with those who grieve to do what we can to change the world for good.”
Be Thou My Vision offers us a prayer, as we remember the fifth anniversary of the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary school, and as we long for the coming of the Prince of Peace, including these words:
Let us sing a new song, a song of peace, whose melody is rooted
in the music our Savior taught us in all his ways.
Let us shine forth with the glory of our God,
proclaiming grace through our lives, O Incarnation of Love Divine.
Let us put healing hands and hearts
toward the divisions that hurt us, and vow to live and work for the cause of love.
Where is your Advent practice taking you, as the days move joyfully (relentlessly) toward Christmas? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Advents blessings to all of our RevGals and Pals.
Rev. Mary Austin is the pastor of Westminster Church of Detroit, a diverse Presbyterian church. She is trying to practice Advent by seeing the holy family in each person who comes to the church unexpectedly. Some days it works. She blogs from time to time at Stained Glass in the City.
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