An Advent Thought
Brother Roger, founder of the Taize Community in France, wrote the following advice.
When the time for silence comes, I ask you to take up your position for prayer , and then, having asked the help of the Holy Spirit, to be content to wait patiently, expectantly, lovingly, longingly. Try to realize that this is all you can do for yourself. God must do the rest. See yourself as the parched ground looking upwards waiting patiently for the rain to fall. You can only wait.
Brother Roger talks about great Advent themes: expectancy, longing, and perhaps above all – waiting. Waiting is rarely seen as a good thing in our society. Most things strive to be faster, immediate, and instant. Yet this is a season to slow down, to be silent and still, and to wait on God in prayer and adoration. In today’s psalm the Psalmist says…
He will guide the humble in doing right
and teach his way to the lowly. Psalm 25 v. 8
This advent attitude needs humility. As Brother Roger wrote…
wait patiently, expectantly, lovingly, longingly. Try to realize that this is all you can do for yourself. God must do the rest.
This is all we can do for ourselves. Like Namaan who objected to being healed in the Jordan river because the action was so simple, when he wanted to do something heroic; we are more comfortable bustling around, keeping the hum of noise and activity going. It takes humility to know that this waiting is all we can do.
See yourself as the parched ground looking upwards waiting patiently for the rain to fall
What about others we might ask? Are we shutting ourselves away from human suffering, the plight of migrants, the homeless, and those who need us?
This waiting takes humility and it takes attentiveness. These practices shape us into compassionate people who work in solidarity with others. Humility sees the common human strand; that we belong together and all human life is sacred. Attentiveness sees the human being behind the statistic, hears the cry behind the words, and senses the longing behind the eyes. Advent should bring us closer to God and to one another.
You can only wait.
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