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An Advent welcome

by davesandel on December 4th, 2012

An Advent welcome

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

First Week of Advent

Isaiah 11:1-9

A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse … the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him … he shall judge the poor with justice … and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.  Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips … There shall be no harm nor ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as waters cover the sea.  

Following is Richard’s Rohr’s advent invitation for 2012.  It is wonderful.  I thought about excerpting it, but then I couldn’t pick out the best parts.  It’s all the best part:

Welcome to the sacred time of Advent yet again. Each year when our liturgical calendar turns the page to this season, I return to the familiar rituals of lighting candles, dressing a wreath in purple and rose, and chanting the O antiphons for the final seven days.

Advent, from the Latin adventus, brings me back to the core of my faith, to the Christ who is always coming—always coming as Divinity in human flesh, always coming to remind me of my place in the Universe, always coming in small and unexpected ways, revealing my own Godself to a man so aware of my manself.

Welcome to the sacred time of Advent yet again. The season invites us to an adult spirituality. Though we anticipate the coming of a babe, Advent is also about a trans-historic and Cosmic Christ. Advent holds the paradox of One coming–not yet fully here–and yet with us from the beginning of time as we know it.

Advent calls us to both follow the star the long way to God’s manger and recognize that the journey is a short one, a simple turn toward neighbor, world, and self.

This is what Advent means: to be chosen and upheld by God, to be filled with God’s delight and Spirit, to bring justice to the nations, to hold God’s hand and be God’s promise, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison, to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness (Isaiah 42:1-9).

All we can do is beg for the full coming–of Christ in us. In Madeleine L’Engle’s words:

Come in your naked, newborn might.

Come, with bolts of lightning hurled.

Come in your flaming, burning power.

Come, Lord Jesus, quickly come;

Come speak in joy untamed and wild.

We are Christ coming–Christ coming now, this Advent, and again and again and again, beyond time’s end.   —  Richard Rohr

In your comforting, courteous way, Lord, you come and come and come again.  With the breath of your lips, you come to me.  It may not be convenient for me, and in fact, it mustn’t be.  Instead, when you come my life changes and becomes more of what you made it be all along.  Thank you thank you thank you.

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