I have to be honest and say that I completely failed at my daily readings this week. I was all out of sorts on Monday and it completely broke the pattern. I have however caught up this afternoon, so I can share a brief reflection from Paula Gooder’s The Meaning is in the Waiting with you now.
The focus for this week was on the prophets, whose words seem to speak of what was to unfold within the space of a few generations AND of what came to pass with the birth of Jesus AND of the restoration and recreation that we still await. By reminding us of the prophets, Advent “invites us to inhabit a swirl of time that stretches forwards and backwards but by doing so anchors us in the present” and so to think about what we have waited for and what we are still waiting for.
We focus on the messianic prophecies at Christmas, but another popular set of prophecies concerns what we call the end times. We often interpret these as referring only to a future moment, but then we can find ourselves falling into a very passive kind of waiting. The end times these prophecies describe are characterised by peace and justice, and we can don’t have to wait for those things, we can celebrate and create them. Love, forgiveness, generosity…”these are all end time moments, breaking into our world now”.
As Gooder says in the introduction to her book, Advent is the wait for a child, and that is a very active form of waiting, with preparations to be made and futures to be imagined. We should also be active, not only in our wait for Christmas, but also in our wait for all that has been promised, as we enter into the mad swirl of time.