The last Sunday before Advent gives us all the Light we will get before the Coming of the Light on Christmas. It is so much brighter than it was when we began four weeks ago, but we still are in semi-darkness. I can’t quite see everything that is there for me in the light. So I wait, and it feels like I am on tiptoe in anticipation for gifts of the Spirit.
What I am in Hoping to see this Christmas?
I hope to understand Peace more deeply, Peace that passes understanding, deep Peace of Christ, the light of the world, a Peace that makes me still and know when and where God is. And I hope for that Peace to keep my heart and mind so that I can be Peace for others in my life.
I hope to know how to Love more deeply and more broadly. I can recall all too painfully the times and place that Love has been beyond my ability to act this year, things done and undone. I hope to learn to Love the intransigent heart, the wounded ego, the pesky chatterer, the smug one-up-demander-of-attention. And I hope that the Love from which I can never be separated will allow me to Love the unrefined and unhealed parts of my self, allowing change to continue to happen all the rest of the days I have allotted to me.
I hope to learn to take Joy, not just in the Littles, although there are plenty of them: sunrises and sunset on the ocean, roses in winter times, leading the people of God in worship, the aroma of glogg, a perfect Christmas tree flanked with wild poinsettias. However, I hope for Joy in the basic rhythm of my days, Joy in the awakening to the new day in the world as it comes to me, Joy in believing that Christ has come and incoming to the world, deep in the marrow of my bones.
As I sprint toward Christmas, maybe Mary of Nazareth is my model here–a little scared, a little bemused, a little befuddled–but open to being filled with Grace, knowing that God is with me, I want to fling my arms open wide to say “yes,” to the gifts of the Spirit that will come with Hope. Let it be to me according to your word. What to my wondering eyes will appear? I can hardly wait!