A Journey through Advent
Katie Harmon-McLaughlin of Walnut Creek, CA, USA
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. -Romans 8:25
I spent most of the past year pregnant, waiting in eager anticipation and sometimes trembling fear for a precious new life being formed. I learned that waiting is not a passive act. I could not speed up (or slow down!) the process, but I could actively prepare for what was forming and cultivate an environment that would nurture this life into fullness.
Each day, week, month, I entered the mystery of pregnancy in concrete ways. Every morning, I took a prenatal vitamin and ate a nutritious breakfast. I regularly visited my doctor who checked my progress and helped me understand what to anticipate even though no two pregnancies are the same. I prepared a space in my heart through singing and speaking to a life I could not yet imagine. I prepared a space in my home by organizing, clearing away, and rearranging. Sometimes I was weary in the waiting with swollen ankles and aching back. Sometimes I watched in awe at signs of life kicking and stretching from the inside.
In the season of Advent we practice this active waiting. We relive the story of Christ forming in us and all creation. We nurture that forming life through daily and weekly practices that nourish and sustain in waiting times. We seek wise guides to help us as we walk a common journey that looks different for each one. We honor our moments of weariness and despair just as we welcome our moments of wonder and awe. The forming happens in the waiting, beyond what we can control or see, yet it is inseparably connected with our present realities and the details that compose our days. We give ourselves to mystery, marveling at how the material of our lives and choices intersects with a future we cannot yet imagine or dream. We rejoice when we witness the signs of what can be emerging in this uncertain, sacred now.
We invite you to journey with us during the Season of Advent as we take a posture of active waiting. This is a journey of trusting what is happening unseen within and of nurturing now the future we yearn to see. What is forming within you this Advent season? How will you nurture the forming as you wait?
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.