Second attempt at writing and posting a blog on WordPress – oh boy, was yesterday a learning curve! Without the help and support of Pam I’d never have made it this far!
Nouwen writes of at least the glimmer of a possibility for himself of a day “completely free and open for prayer”. Very few of us have the luxury of such a thing – our days are filled with activity, some things urgent, some important, some both (I think with a twinge of guilt of my tax return, yet to be completed with the deadline fast approaching!). Women in particular, and especially at this time of year, are often pulled in many directions at once. Our lives are full of preparation… presents to buy, cards to write, meals to plan, food to prepare, houses to clean… oh, and the 9-5 (or whatever your shift is) job to do as well, in order to pay for the presents, cards, food, house…
I am reminded of the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus didn’t rebuke Martha for waiting on them all – He simply reminded her that sometimes (always?) the priority isn’t after all to collude in the pressures society puts upon us to fulfill a particular role to the exclusion of being open to new ways, new thoughts, new experiences. And He encouraged Mary (and Martha) to take time to sit at His feet and listen to His words.
May God set us free from the drive to be the perfect parent, housekeeper, wage-earner, pastor, priest… May we rediscover, in these last few frantic days before Christmas, the Peace which comes from the Prince of Peace. Peace in the midst of our business.
May every moment, every action, become a sacrament for us, revealing afresh Emmanuel.
With every candle that we light, may we know afresh that the Light of the World is come.
With every card and gift that we send and receive, may we know afresh the love which we have for one another: and behind and through it the love which God has for us all.
With every meal shared may we experience again Jesus breaking bread and sharing wine, giving us Himself in a way beyond our understanding.
As we welcome every guest, may Christ be welcomed into our homes and hearts.
And the Advent Action suggestion for today is to give up salting out food… in my case, I never do salt my food, so today I will add a tiny amount at each meal, reminding myself that it is a sign of purification and praying that Christ will purify heart and mind. Then the “doing” will take care of itself, the sorting of priorities will unfold without stress or strain.
And who knows? the tax return might get done! 🙂
And here are other people posting on the Advent Book Club: