Please join me as we walk in our faith life toward Bethlehem during this time of Advent, this time of waiting, anticipation, hope and wonder. Every year, I think about writing a thought of two during the time of Advent. Many thoughts whirl, twirl, percolate, all mixing together in my mind. I think about topics on my walks, standing at my kitchen sink with my hands in suds, even occasionally in a dream then suddenly, I hear a word or two and it is settled for me, I know what direction I am to go. This year, I heard walking toward Bethlehem, and I knew what I was to write about. Thank you for joining me, if you have any thoughts to share I would be honored to listen to them and grow in them.
Walking Toward Bethlehem in Waiting
I, like so many people I know, I find myself going a mile a minute, running from this task to that task. I have many different projects started. I have several crafts I want to try out for Christmas gifts, our Christmas cards are addressed and wait to be stamped, I have recipes sitting on the counter waiting to be baked. Waiting — Anticipation — Hope — Wondering.
There are several groups I wonder about during Advent, like, Mary & Joseph, the people on the road traveling alongside them, and the shepherds.
What did Mary and Joseph do in the time of waiting? For this couple it really was a time of waiting. Not really knowing what this baby would look like or grow up to do, only trusting this baby was bound to be someone special. So, what did they do? They went about their earth lives doing what was demanded of them; go to Bethlehem and be counted. They traveled, they grew hungry, they grew exhausted, they slept, and they listened quietly for God to speak. Truly, trusting God would speak with them. And God did speak to them, Joseph in a dream and with Mary by an angel. They listened.
What do we do during this time of waiting, wondering, hope and anticipation? I have four different Advent booklets sitting on my bedside table. I need to open one of them. I need a “calm time.” A time when I can calm my heart, mind and body. I need this “calm time” so I can listen to Jesus talking to me. Jesus is waiting for me to listen. He will take right where I am. I don’t need to do anything but listen.
In this is a time of waiting and perhaps growing in trust, St. Ignatius of Loyola said, (I am paraphrasing)
“Nothing really matters with our lives here on earth if our heart is with God in Heaven. It doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor, healthy or sick, popular or unknown, if our hearts is with God in Heaven we are fine.”
Listening to the silence in our hearts is where Jesus will talk with us. God is in charge. Listening takes a lot of work. But don’t worry, we have our whole life to work on the task of listening. God is patience, kind and understanding. We are walking toward Bethlehem in waiting.