Advent as awakening

I have had a slow start with Advent this year. Perhaps it is the cycle of my life at present with my work load increasing in administrative demands, my daughters becoming teenagers and asking different questions that rightly demand deeper and most engaged conversations about faith, and the world weariness of seeing violence, anger, torment in our city streets as racial reconciliation and economic justice ring like bells from God’s cathedral calling people back to the heart of worship and away from the idols of our age.

This week I felt myself waking up to all the voices screaming for justice and realized that to be the Church will demand so much more than commentary.

We are in a season of action pure and simple.

And this is perhaps what awakened me to the advent reality in a new way: new birth is not about commentary apart from embodied action. The cry of the Christ child demands to be heard, to be nourished, to be held, to be kept warm, to be loved with abandon.

This newborn child is not to be merely stared at as a beatific vision akin to a revisionist Italian canvas capturing a fictive moment of stillness and tranquility.

No, the cry of the Christ child is a demand to be heard, to be cared for, to be fed, to be held, to be loved.

The incarnate God is not merely born to us but is awake and crying… Emmanuel is alive and kicking. We need to respond and not merely stare.


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