See me safe up: for in my coming down,
I can shift for myself.
(the frozen demise of the mint / Julie Cook / 2017)
Despite our having just journeyed through the season known for all things of anticipation…
that sacred time of observing Advent, which then culminates with the wondrous arrival
of the illuminating Nativity…
we actually, in this silent and slumberous time of deep winter,
continue finding ourselves waiting and watching.
Found in the Latin word adventus, which is the translation of the Greek word parousia,
we find a word and meaning that has traditionally been used to refer to the Second Coming of Christ.
Not so much denoting a single and initial birth, but rather embracing the anticipation of
a second birth…a sort of re-coming…
Yet, as William Stringfellow observes,
“we live now, in the Untied States, in a culture so profoundly pagan that Advent
(or any other Christian “season”)*
is no longer really noticed, much less observed.
The commercial acceleration of seasons,
whereby the promotion of Christmas begins even before there is an opportunity to enjoy
Halloween, is superficially, a reason for the vanishment of Advent.
But a more significant cause is that the churches have become so utterly secularized
that they no longer remember the topic of Advent.
And so it seems that our secular and worldly selves have given way from our
continuation of waiting and watching to rather the glossing over of a key
observational time within our faith.
We have allowed, as it appears we have preferred, to move away from that which should
still be our focus, yielding rather, to the superficial luster of the fleeting.
For it seems that the notion of Advent, or any other of the “seasons” of the church,
has fallen way to the more glamorous secular association of what should actually be the truly
innate spiritual rhythms of our beings.
Yet as unrelenting and ever-faithful,
we now find ourselves transitioning from the anticipation found in Advent and the Nativity
to Epiphany, leading way to Ash Wednesday and the heaviness of the somber Lenten season…
as it too shall give way to the unending promise of Hope…
We enter, once again into a time of waiting and watching…
waiting not so much for the first birth with its earth shattering life that was cut
tragically short by a brutal yet necessary death…
but rather we, the dwindling yet tenacious faithful, both wait and watch
not for an ending associated with death but rather for the continuation of what is to come…
Life anew and everlasting…
As we find ourselves listening to once again, as well as claiming, those prophetic words of that
lone figure who cried out to the masses so long ago…
as his words continue to resonate in our hearts…
MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!'”
Ahh, such lovely words! One thing I really appreciate about our church is that we take note of all those seasons, of advent, of lent.
thank you IB—growing up in a liturgical church, the “church” calendar and seasons were such an integral part of every Sunday…the importance made a lasting impression and I liken it very much to a rhythmic cycle that is an innate hardwired component to that piece of the Divine that rests within each our beings…
its just that the secular world seems determined to eradicate such nonsensical “notions”….
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
This reflection brought to mind a comment on Christmas Day by a relative of my son-in-law. When she realized that I had been to Mass on Christmas morning, she said that it was preposterous that a church would have services on Christmas Day when children would want to be at home opening their presents. I was almost speechless – almost but not quite! Let us now rest in this in-between time which prepares us for our Lenten journey. Blessings on your day Julie.
I probably would still be standing there with my mouth hanging agape– be not silent my friend and I pray you gave this misguided soul an education! 😘
Amazing! You are just amazing! 🙂 ❤