Brian’s Reflection: Sunday, December 2, 2012
Advent I, Year C, RCL
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Collect for Advent Sunday
The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made …
The prophet Jeremiah (chapter 33)
And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you
The apostle Paul (I Thessalonians 3)
"Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
[ The complete Readings for Advent Sunday, Year C, Revised Common Lectionary
can be found at http://www.lectionarypage.net/YearC_RCL/Advent/CAdv1_RCL.html ]
What do we Christians do for these next four weeks, this holy season of Advent? Essentially, we “rest in hope”. Actively. The Advent season builds the context for our life for the next 11 months in our yearly mystical and mythical Journey through “Kingdom Life” … what our Rector has been calling the “real” World. Sometimes, perhaps always, we arrive at the end of that Journey – at the end of “Ordinary Time” – a bit tattered. Sometimes battered! Along with some joy and peace and wonder, we’ve weathered disappointments, frustrations, conflict, self-doubt, questioning, struggles with mortality, brokenness, etc …. The human condition!
Then comes Advent, inviting us again into a quiet, solid center, refocusing us and reweaving us into the web of the life of the God Who is Unconditional Love, healing, justice, peace, clarity, reality. We know that we will probably come to the end of our Life – if we’re lucky and we’re not cut off too young - looking worn and tattered like the Velveteen Rabbit … but hopefully having lived Life in the pursuit of Love with passion.
Julian of Norwich said, “All shall be well, and all things shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”. What will make that not pie-in-the-sky? The human experience teaches us not to think of God and God’s work-in-us as magic. It teaches us to “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light”, to “increase and abound in love for one another”. To do our best, and leave the rest to the mystery of the Spirit.