God’s Love Made Visible
Janne Grover, Council of Twelve Apostles
By the tender mercy of our God,
the dawn from on high will break upon us,
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace. -Luke 1:78-79
I struggle to imagine Mary’s advent. To be so young, unsure of what was to come, but certain it was clouded in scandal. Luke’s author records Mary’s song of praise, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” It’s as if her song of faith amid doubt was her deep sense of “nevertheless, God’s grace abounds.” Could she have imagined the magnitude of her faithful response? Could she have dreamed the eternal hope that would be realized amid her pain and loss?
Like Mary, Community of Christ is experiencing its own Advent. We are undeniably claimed by God’s providence and persistent call, but we are also hesitant in our pain of loss and fear of uncertainty. Like Mary, our faithful response as servant disciples and ministers will give birth to new pathways of healing, restoration, and peace. But it will not be without cost.
I find myself torn between the Advent I long for and the Advent I experience. How can my soul rejoice when it is clouded by the loss of dedicated and beloved colleagues? How can my soul rejoice when challenges before us seem to overshadow opportunities?
In my doubt and uncertainty, I am reminded that the miracle we celebrate of God’s love made visible in Christ is realized through the humility and ordinariness of a peasant girl and a carpenter. The profound mystery of God is made real in and through our humble and faithful response, even when we are overwhelmed by our sense of not-enoughness.
We are invited this and every Advent to prepare the way for what is longing to give birth-a new expression of the church as the body of Christ in the world; a willingness to offer our whole selves, as we are, inadequate, uncertain, unprepared…and absolutely enough…to Christ’s mission. To challenge what is with a prophetic voice of what can be: status quo challenged, justice realized, God’s love made visible.
Advent Prayer Phrase
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).
Advent Spiritual Practice
Breathe deeply and spend a few moments inviting silence to deepen around you. Pay attention to what is forming in you this day as you prayerfully consider the following questions: What awareness or gift begins to emerge in you through the practice of waiting? When do you notice being invited to resist rushing to the next thing and remain present with what may be slowly unfolding? What can you learn from being fully present in the waiting times?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.