Advent is a season of preparation and waiting – an invitation for us to reconsider with fresh eyes the birth of Christ. During our lives, we may experience times of waiting. Waiting for a visitor, for important letters or emails, news from the doctor or for the moment when a baby takes their first breath. Sometimes these times are filled with anxiety, frustration, panic and when the arrival takes longer than anticipated, we start to question the outcome.
The four weeks of Advent give us an opportunity to wrestle with such questions. It is in the wrestling, that we are invited to draw closer to the Father’s heart. For centuries, we have wrestled with what the gift of Christ’s birth means to us and the significance of His death on the cross. And today, we know that the Church still wrestles with Jesus’ teachings. As we begin this journey, I invite you to wrestle.
Leo the Great (391-461), the 45th Pope, preached: “Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the incarnation. From the time when Christ came, the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error-driven out, truth has been brought back, and the speech of kindliness diffused. A heavenly way of life has been implanted on the earth.”
What a gift! The One who brought this to earth, came to us in the form of a helpless babe. All of the promises and prophecies of the First Testament are fulfilled in this child.
“…The star appeared to [the wise men], guiding them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house where the child and his mother, Mary, were, and they fell down before him and worshiped him.” (Matthew 3:9-11)
Let us, with that same joy and anticipation that the wise men experience, follow the star together this Advent season.
“We await your coming, Lord, with eagerness and thanksgiving and a fair amount of fear. Shine your true light in the corners of our hearts and in the vast wastelands of our society that we might see more clearly the lorry of the creation you have come to redeem. Amen.”
May you be richly blessed!
 Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals