So far this advent, you may have experienced a different kind of waiting. The busyness of shopping, family visits, work and Christmas parties can easily distract us, leaving us feeling like the birth of Christ came way too quickly – we haven’t had a chance to write all the Christmas cards yet!
Mary would have had more than 9 months preparing for her baby boy (if you count the few extra days when the angel came on a surprise visit). What would she have been feeling? What did ‘preparation’ and ‘waiting’ look like for the Mother of the Son of God?
St John of the Cross tells us that sometimes God comes to us with the intensity of a light so dazzling, it overwhelms our capacity to see. It may feel like this season has been clouded by the stress of many things, but St John reassures us that we will see a new dawn more glorious than we have looked at before. This new dawn is Jesus. He is here, even if we can't see Him.
Could Mary see clearly just how much her ‘yes’ to God would have impacted the world? Was it made in blindness, or complete trust? Was she overwhelmed by this dazzling light of God that she responded with complete trust? If God asked you to do a similar task, how would you respond?
If God asked you to do a similar task, how would you respond?
My husband and I are expecting our first baby, due in February. The due date still feels worlds away, but knowing that this day is getting closer reminds me that my world will never be the same again. A tiny human has such a big and beautiful impact on the world, even before they are born. Our baby is truly a gift from God. Though, the gift of my baby does not compare to the complete, ultimate gift that Jesus is to us. As hard as that is to write, it’s true. My saviour gives all to me. My hope is that I can give all to my child, imitating God's love and sacrifice for His glory. I'm sure there will be times where I cannot see the light of God in the midst of the dirty nappies and sleepless nights, but my reassurance is what is in the unseen.
The 'big day’ (Christmas day) is just around the corner. Though it may be filled with many things, I hope that for just a few minutes you can see a glimpse of this light that dazzles. Allow yourself to refocus on the radiant face of Jesus, feel the saving power that He offers. Be still for a few moments in His presence.
The scripture readings for this Sunday (the Christmas Vigil) are:
ISAIAH 62:1-5 | PSALM 89:4-5, 16-17, 27, 29 | ACTS 13:16-17, 22-25 | MATTHEW 1:1-25