From Season of Promises
As truly as God is our father, so just as truly is he our mother. In our father, God Almighty, we have our being; in our merciful mother we are remade and restored. Our fragmented lives are knit together and made perfect man. And by giving and yielding ourselves, through grace, to the Holy Spirit we are made whole. (Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love)
One of the images of Advent: the Christmas manger scene in the church or in our home, all the figures arranged, Mary here, Joseph there, the shepherds thus, the animals just so, maybe the magi over there. But during Advent, the season of patient waiting, the crib is empty, waiting, ready to be the resting place of the Child.
What does this image of Advent teach us? Mary here, Joseph there. In the waiting love of Mary and Joseph we may see God’s love in a special way, an Advent way. Mary and Joseph are mother and father, awaiting the birth of the Child. Mary and Joseph together reflect God’s motherly and fatherly love as it exists for each of us, waiting, waiting for each of us to come to birth in our heart and in our soul. Waiting in love.
During Advent we wait and look forward to the birth of the Child. But during Advent God also waits. God waits for us and perhaps God wonders. Will we draw closer this year? God is closer to us than we are to ourselves, but how close are we to realizing this and living as if it’s true? Oh, remarkable. We have an Advent God, a waiting God, a God constantly looking out the window awaiting our return. Imagine that.
God of Advent, help me to draw closer to you as you have drawn closer to me. Amen.