Sunday, 2 December 2007

Future Certain

The season of Advent begins today.
In looking forward to the coming of Jesus as a child in our world we are looking forward to Christmas.
In following this annual leading with its expectation and its excitement, initially suppressed but increasingly bubbling up and shared with those around us, let us pause frequently to ask ourselves what drives this inner process.
In looking forward to Christmas are we looking forward to the coming of Jesus or are we solely bundled along by the commercial powerhouse with its extravagant glitter and noise? If not that, is our love of the season locked into the goodwill and increased harmony for which we all hope, together with its giving, receiving and sharing? Do we take our place in the collective anticipation without a moment’s thought as to what it is towards which we are being drawn?
In following the world we can miss the meaning of Advent and of Christmas, but in being aware of what we are asked to anticipate and celebrate in the birth of Christ we must be aware that we are involving ourselves in an event that occurred only once, and that was two thousand years ago.
We remember it, we commemorate it, we celebrate it.

Underlying these weeks of Advent is a constant reminder of our need to see clearly when we look back to that time in Bethlehem.
We must bring what it shows us into our present day, that we may look ahead once more with a realization that, contained within the brightness of the glory ahead of us, there is another advent, another arrival, another coming. Jesus is coming back. Christ will return.

Wake up!

I say it quietly so as not to disturb those who are determined to remain asleep.
They can then go away saying to themselves, ‘But I didn’t hear him! He didn’t speak loud enough. He didn’t get the message across. He didn’t get through to us.’

The truth stands squarely in the quiet. It has little to do with whoever may speak it, or however it may be spoken.

“The calm words of the wise make themselves heard above the shouts of someone commanding an army of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 9:17)

Making it louder may attract more immediate attention, but would not convey the message with any more urgency or success. Saying it louder places the words - in the ears and mind of many hearers - alongside others regarded as annoying, aggressive and offensive, with the result that the message remains unheard.
However quietly it may be said, and however remote the possibility may seem, He will return, and we know not when.

Wake up! Remain awake, look for Him and be ready for Him. Look forward to His coming while looking back to His infant birth.

“Year passes after year silently; Christ’s coming is ever nearer than it was.”
(Parochial and Plain Sermons. John Henry Newman)

About Me

Who I am should be, and should remain, of little consequence to you. Who you are is what matters; who you are meant to be is what should matter most to you. In coming closer to my own true self, I have gradually been filled with the near inexpressible: I have simply become "brim full", and my words to you are drawn from those uttered within myself, as part of an undeniable overflowing that brings a smile to my every dusk, and to my every new dawn.
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