"In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, 'Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.' But she was much perplexes by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be" (Luke 1:29)
Advent is a time of expectant waiting - even when we're not sure what we're waiting for! In one of his meditations, the great spiritual writer Richard Rohr speaks to this quality of waiting as it relates to prayer:
Prayer is largely just being silent: holding the tension instead of even talking it through, offering the moment instead of fixing it by words and ideas, loving reality as it is instead of understanding it fully. Prayer is commonly a willingness to say, "I don't know." We must not push the river, we must just trust that we are already in the river, and God is the certain flow and current.
That may be impractical, but the way of faith is not the way of efficiency. So much of life is just a matter of listening and waiting, and enjoying the expansiveness that comes from such willingness to hold. It is like carrying and growing a baby: women wait and trust and hopefully eat good food, and the baby is born. (from Yes, And ...)
Mary was willing to wait receptively upon God, without having to understand fully what God was doing. When she said "Yes" to God, she had no idea that the Son born through her would die on a cross. In this season, you and I are also called to learn to wait upon God, growing in trust, openness, and a willing spirit. This is the spirit that is open to the coming of the Christ Child.
On Christmas Eve, we will offer ourselves to God in the beautiful prayer that we sing: "Oh holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today."
Trinity United Methodist Church
3430 Harrison | Beaumont, TX 77706
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