Isaiah 9v2 To Us a Child Is Born
The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen.
Isaiah 11 v 3 The Branch of Jesse
…Will judge by what he sees with his eyes.
The First Week of Advent 2022: Sight
Over the last few weeks, our gospel readings have dealt with some pretty heavy topics, from not saving things because we don’t know the number of our days, to marrying and remarrying, the resurrection, and Jesus being put to the test over and over. Now, as we enter into the Season of Advent, I turn to reflect on some of those thoughts and lessons.
I want to be thankful and not take God’s many gifts for granted. I want to make sure I am using the gifts God has given me and not saving them up for some time in the future. BUT how do I put this into practice? What I have come up with is this Advent Season I will spend time being thankful for my five senses. The gifts of Sight, Hearing, Touch, Smell, and Taste. I will try to be more aware, attentive, and grateful for my senses and use them in ways to bring others closer to God.
Not everyone has all five senses. In the last few years, we have heard of people, or know of people or maybe even ourselves who have lost a sense due to COVID. Sometimes, this loss is for a few days, sometimes for months. I think the saying, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” can be very true.
There are many quotes about the eyes being a window into your soul and here is one that I really enjoy thinking about, “The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.” ― Meister Eckhart, Sermons of Meister Eckhart
For centuries, the Church has worked to involve all our senses to draw us into the worshiping of our God. We can richly nourish our senses when we experience the rituals and practices of our faith. We can experience, candles, incense, water, stained glass windows, and music, oh the sounds of bells and trumpets.
We often find ourselves walking in darkness. Some of us go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. Checking in with science we learn, light provided energy for chemical reactions, and food chains start to grow, acting as a guide for us to move and do our daily activities. Light can be part of our spirituality, a candle during prayer or meditation. Light can communicate, with beacons, lighthouses, or lasers and pass on valuable information. We as humans would have a hard go at life without light. Being in touch, daily with our main source of light, Jesus Christ is most important and life-giving. By becoming more aware of the gift-given gift of our senses we will grow in the realization that these gifts from God are intended to bring us closer to God and enjoy the glory of the world God has created for us.
Take a quiet moment, calm yourself in a comfortable chair, with a warm blanket, or maybe go for a walk, and reflect on what are some of the sights of the season you enjoy, anticipate, expect, and long to see.
For me some of the sights are:
- Snow falling against a clear midnight blue starred night sky.
- Lights twinkling on Christmas trees.
- The stable scene, Mary Joseph bent over baby Jesus, the shepherds, the donkey, sheep, and oxen.
- Christmas dishes, glasses, and napkins.
- Christmas bows and ribbons.
- Lonely sitting in the library to stay warm
- Wreaths, garland, advents candles.
- Christmas cookies all lined up cooling on a rack.
- Little faces all excited about Christmas activities.
- Books of Christmas stories.
- Nursing home resident waiting for a visitor.
- Christmas cards arriving in the mail.
- Watching a marshmallow melt in a mug of hot cocoa.
- Homeless walking the streets.
- One of my favorite experiences of Christmas Eve Mass is coming into the church that is dimly lit. Then and only then, just as the priest is ready to walk up the aisle do the lights come on. I feel like Isaiah, himself may appear and say, “The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen.”
Here’s to seeing what sight comes next on my Advent Journey to the stable to take in the sight of my newborn King.