We are now in the season of Advent.
Such hope. Such expectation. And the certainty – it’s a hope that will not fail. He will deliver.
Deliver as in ‘rescue’. Deliver as in ‘fulfill’. And even more moving to realise – He personally delivers. He comes, right beside, and fully within me.
So I am emptied, only to be filled.
I lose, only to gain.
I sieve out, in order to hear.
I die, in order to live.
I let go, in order to pick up.
I open myself to His shaping and working, so that His glory seals my life.
I take small steps, and find He makes them great leaps.
I detach, yet gain true intimacy.
I weep and mourn, yet laugh and rejoice at the days to come.
I question – and He will answer. In His time, in His ways.
What is coming?
I may not know for sure, but I know Christ has already come. And it is finished. I live out a victory every day, every moment, in whatever ways God chooses to manifest Himself in my particular life. I just have to make a choice, everyday, every moment, for Him. Small steps.
“The Gospel about the rich young man who loved Jesus and was loved by him but couldn’t follow him because of his attachment to his many possessions was a real challenge for us. What seemed to impress people was the realisation that this story does not imply a huge leap from everything to nothing but rather a long series of small steps in the direction of love. The tragedy for the rich young man was not that he was unwilling to give up his wealth – who would be? The real tragedy for him was that he missed something both he and Jesus desired, which was the opportunity to develop a deep and intimate relationship.
It is not so much a question of detachment as it is a question of fully trusting and following the voice of love. Detachment is only a consequence of a greater attachment. Who would worry about his few possessions when invited to be intimate with the Lord of abundance, who offers more fish than we can catch and more bread than we can eat? What would have happened if the young man had said yes to Jesus? Wouldn’t he, just like the other disciples, have become a source of hope for countless people? Now he drops out of history and is never heard of again! What a loss!
To follow the voice of love, step by step, trusting that God will give us all we need is the great challenge.”
— Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey. [Monday, May 27, 1996]
Advent is about the spirituality of emptiness, of enough-ness, of stripped-down fullness of soul. — Joan Chittister
Advent is a season meant to slow us down, to open windows of awareness and health, to trigger consciousness. It is about finding the kind of quiet and the sort of emptiness that can expectantly offer a place for the fullness of God as an infant among us… The hope of Advent is that it is always possible to make room for Him. … Advent, after all, is about the riches of being empty-handed; empty-handed, so that we can fully hold the mystery before us and nothing less; empty-handed, like the God who came down from heaven without riches or power, but meek and small—and full, expectant, and enough. — Jill Carattini, RZIM