Friday, December 23, 2005

An Advent Meditation

We have been scrambling all day, trying to get ready for our holiday travels. It's one of my many least favorite parts of this season. It is now way later than we had hoped to be leaving, and we're pretty much guaranteed to hit rush hour traffic. Can't be helped, so I'm not going to stress about it. Rather, I thought it would be a good idea to take a few moments to center myself with a few moments of quiet while my husband finishes packing his clothes.

Without getting exceedinly maudlin, one of the roughest things about the whole Christmas season--especially coming as it does right before my birthday--is that it is a time when all of the little ways I occasionally feel inadequate all impinge on my consciousness at once. So I definitely need to take a few moments and remind myself of the miracle that this season represents. The following is from an Advent sermon at St. Clement's Church in Berkeley:

In the ordinariness of a peasant girl’s body, the word was made flesh. In the business-as-usual of a society focused on material things, a holy stillness descends. Into the repetitive cycle of violence, peace and justice break through. All incredible. All a myth, whose truth we see and cling to. Mary said to the angel, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Mary, young, pregnant, visited by angels, poor, expectant, and scared: in her body heaven and earth meet. What Mary offers us is the hope of light in our darkness, the breaking through of holy love into our sad, sorry world. She carries the sacred burden of our redemption even as she suffers the grief, love, fear, and joy of a human mother. Whatever else she is, Mary is a sign for us of God’s ridiculous love for us, the love that takes our very ordinariness, the good and the ill of the human condition, and turns it into blessing and grace.

Ready or not ready, here it comes. Bidden or not bidden, God is present – here, with us, now. My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.