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We are listening. We are watching. We are waiting in joyful hope for the coming of our saviour, Jesus Christ.
Gather your people, O God. Here in this time and this place, as we wait, as we hope, as we long for your coming, O God.
Advent: “Please: Let us Wait”
As a time of preparation for the coming of Christ, Advent is undermined by the premature way we now celebrate it. We can’t wait so Christmas is brought forward, undermining the whole purpose of Advent which is the time of waiting. Everybody knows what Christmas is going to be like so why wait? But Joseph and Mary and Jesus didn’t know what Christmas was going to be like and they had to wait. For Joseph the time of waiting was an anxious time of worry and insecurity. For Mary it was a time of sickness and discomfort and the fear of miscarriage. For Jesus in the womb it was a time of complete and utter helplessness. We think of Christmas as the moment of the God-man being born. We tend to forget the months before when Mary carried him in the womb. Humanly speaking this may have been the greatest indignity of all because, just think of it. No separate body, no body at all. The Son of God a haphazard fertilization, a shapeless amoeba, no personal identity, utterly dependent, confined and dark, hidden in the womb. Womb and tomb because as it happened, Jesus died the same way. Confined and dependent. No comeliness in him nor strength, unrecognizable, a worm and no man. Utterly helpless. What does it tell us? It tells us in starkest terms how seriously God took our helplessness, the helpless God, showing our helplessness to ourselves. It confronts us with our smallness. Our dependence, our vulnerability, our limitations. But the human condition has been given a new value, made precious because Christ has shared it all and the precious is always mixed with the precarious. So please, let us wait.
Fr Ronan Drury: From Selected Writings. P.70.