Thought For The Week
"The season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before. What is possible - is to not see it, to miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. So stay. Sit. Linger. Ponder. Wait. Behold. Wonder. There will be time enough for running, for rushing, for worrying, for pushing. For now stay, because something is on the horizon." ~Jan L. Richardson
The Toy Show which was a huge success last Friday night on RTE is always the first indicator that Christmas is fast approaching. It also coincides with the beginning of our journey through Advent. It's not a word that you will find in many shopping catalogues. Few will get excited about Advent but that does not mean it's not of any significance. Perhaps it is a misunderstood word. The word Advent comes from the Latin 'Adventus', which can mean 'coming' or 'journey'. I prefer the word journey because Advent leads us on a particular journey. It need not be a spectacular one but it is a journey that prioritises time for ourselves and gives us time to ask what the message of Christmas can mean for us. Where would we like Jesus to be born in our lives this Christmas? What part of our journey at the moment needs healing and priority? If we rush through the next few weeks it won't happen. Advent puts the brakes gently on, allowing us to slow down enough to make it happen.
If you take into account the events of the last few weeks and in particular Paris, you can feel a sense of a world feeling fragile and vulnerable. Feeling safe, secure and peaceful is no longer fully guaranteed. Advent 2015 has a powerful message that no matter how dark things may get there will always be light and hope. The prayers of Advent touch in on each person walking in some darkness and yet awaiting and anticipating a great light. The prayers also include prayers for peace. These prayers are not wishful thinking but genuine heartfelt prayers that can and will find results. Even if these results come in whispers we will gladly embrace them. Advent is a time for us to hear those other quiet whispers in our lives of a God gently calling us from darkness into light. Advent is a reminder of how we need this light more than ever in our own lives. This light is not for a select few but for everyone. Advent is a time to make sure we give this light as much priority as we can.