By Darlene Pryds
“Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your God is coming” (Matt. 24:42)
Advent is a time of waiting in anticipation for the arrival of Christ. The challenge for us today is to really wait for that birth without planning and without assuming we know when and how Christ will appear in our lives.
Babies arrive on their own time. As I write this, just yesterday the wife of a colleague gave birth. Because of complications, labor was induced early in the morning, so we knew it was coming. A request for prayers was sent out. After a few hours, people started checking in to hear the latest word. Hours passed and another email update related that mom was still in labor. The day was full of a different energy: a rare mixture of excitement and curiosity, tempered by guarded concern that was buoyed by hope and ultimately grounded in resolve to let God’s will be done. There was nothing we could do but wait and allow God’s will. The day was full of raw energy because we did not know what would happen or when. And there was nothing we could do. The labor finally ended in the birth of a healthy baby boy at 10:20 pm. Mother and baby are well.
REFLECTION: This day made me reflect on Advent. Can I wait for the coming of Christ with this same kind of raw energy? Can I sit and pray through these weeks waiting for the arrival of Christ to come newborn in my life? This is the invitation of Advent: wait, pray, and allow Christ to arrive in new and fresh ways.
This reflection is from Unshakeable Belief: Advent 2013. This booklet is available and can be ordered online here. Darleen Pryds, Ph.D. is professor of Christian Spirituality and History at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley and Oceanside.