ADVENT WITH EVELYN UNDERHILL: Recognition And Expectancy

ADVENT WITH EVELYN UNDERHILL: Recognition And Expectancy

From The Fruits of the Spirit

At the beginning of her course the Church looks out towards Eternity, and realizes her own poverty and imperfection and her utter dependence on this perpetual coming of God.  Advent is, of course, first of all a preparation for Christmas; which commemorates God’s saving entrance into history in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Whilst all things were in quiet silence and night was in the midst of her swift course:

thine Almighty Word leapt down from Heaven out of thy royal throne.  Alleluia.

A tremendous spiritual event then took place; something which disclosed the very nature of God and his relation to his universe.  But there was little to show for it on the surface of life.  All men saw was a poor girl unconditionally submitted to God’s will, and a baby born in difficult circumstances.  And this contrast between the outward appearance and the inner reality is true of all the coming of God to us.  We must be very loving and very alert if we want to recognize them in their Earthly disguise.  Again and again he comes and the revelation is not a bit what we expect.

So the next lesson Advent should teach us is that our attitude towards him should always be one of humble eager expectancy.  Our spiritual life depends on his perpetual coming to us, far more than on our going to him.  Every time a channel is made for him he comes; every time our hearts are open to him he enters, bringing a fresh gift of his very life, and on that life we depend.  We should think of the whole power and splendor of God as always pressing in upon our small souls.  In him we live and move and have our being.



2 Comments on ADVENT WITH EVELYN UNDERHILL: Recognition And Expectancy

  1. Longtime fan of Underhill here. Thanks.


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