The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. — Jeremiah 33:14
“One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along ,that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home. While we wait, we have to trust, to have faith, but it is God’s grace that gives us that faith. As with all spiritual knowledge, two things are true, and equally true, at once. The mind can’t grasp paradox; it is the knowledge of the soul.” — Michelle Blake, The Tentmaker
It’s here already! Can you believe it? Today we lit the first candle on the Advent wreath and sang the first Advent hymns. While the season may be here, the days are surely coming and the promises of God are being fulfilled.
We live in the already and the not yet–all of us–in a state of tension. Our lives are pulled in many directions; there is always something to do. Our culture encourages us to hurry up and get ready for that perfect Christmas by searching for the latest and greatest and most perfect of presents. Images and sounds of Christmas bombard our senses at every turn. But wait…it isn’t Christmas. The days are surely coming, but the twelve days of Christmas are not now, not yet.
Right now it is Advent. God gives us the gift of 24 wonderful days to wait, to anticipate, and to be present in the moment. Advent reminds us that we are created as human beings rather than human doings. Instead of overspending our time, our energy, and our resources Advent encourages us to spend our love lavishly, to wait in wonder, and to experience life rather than rush through our precious days.
Dear friend, if your “to-do list” is spiraling out of control and your energy is flagging, then stop and be still. Sit and listen. Breathe. Pray. Relish this moment in faith that your work will get done and you will keep Christmas. The days are surely coming, but not just yet.
These are the days to sweep clean your cluttered mind and clear away any cobwebs of anxiety and dust bunnies of despair. God is coming again and God is already here. No perfection is needed, only an open mind, a quiet heart, and peaceful soul. You do not have to “out-decorate” your neighbor or “wow” your child with baubles and trinkets or throw the most memorable party. In the end those things will not matter or even be remembered.
The days are surely coming, but this is the day you have. Live it. Love it. Pay attention to it. And open yourself to the miracles of the Creator.
You will not be disappointed.
Today do nothing or as little as possible. Enter Advent on the hours of a gentle Sabbath. Experience God as fully as possible and rest in the divine hope and grade that are already yours.