Mother Laura writes:Can you believe that in two days we'll be halfway through Advent? Gaudete Sunday: pink candle on the advent wreath, rose vestments for those who have them, concerts and pageants in many congregations. Time to rejoice! Rejoice in the nearness of Christ's coming, yes, but also in the many gifts of the pregnant waiting time when the world (in the northern hemisphere, at least) spins ever deeper into sweet, fertile darkness. What makes you rejoice about:
1. Waiting? The first thing that comes to mind about this is the sheer counter-culturalness of it! The lingering hippie rebel child in me smiles in delight to do this thing that goes so against the grain of the have it all and have it now world we live in. To stop, to sit, to simply be and wait....not even sure exactly for what....seems to capture so perfectly some small kernel of the stance it takes to follow this Jesus who comes in the waiting time.
2. Darkness? I love Laura's words above, "sweet, fertile darkness." I have long thought that darkness gets a bad rap. So much good stuff happens in the dark, in the "between," when we are willing to go there and sit with it, be with ourselves in it.....I talk to my clients about the place under the bridge where there is all sorts of good stuff growing...if one is willing to risk a bit....the seed will never sprout if it does not go into the dark earth, we do not become our most authentic selves if we are not willing to encounter our own darkness. Love the dark, love the dark!
3. Winter? This one, alas, I do not wax so poetic about. Living in the North country, sometims there is just too much to love. I would love it if I could admire it more and contend with it less I think. But the moving it and scraping it and sliding around on it in cars and going off roads because of it and all such manner of things....well it makes it kind of hard to love.
4. Advent? Oh what is not to love! Four weeks of being called again and again to remember and repent and recall who it is that comes, ever comes, not once, not twice, but always. God is incarnate... "remember, remember," we are urged. And it is all wrapped in beautiful liturgy and candles and music....a liturgy geek's dream!
5. Jesus' coming? And I stand in need of His salvation....and so with every fiber of my being I rejoice!