Saturday, December 6, 2014

Happy Advent: do we want to be transformed?

my Twinkies! Cecilia and Ignacio

Thanksgiving weekend was truly wonderful.

I love the crazy chaos of a full house, all of us sharing space and breaking bread under one roof.  And even though I’ve been a grandmother for almost four years now, I’m still getting used to—and blessedly surprised—by the thrill of grandchildren around me… running, crawling, and squealing in delight (for the sake of this thread, we’ll just ignore the crying part which we all know is inevitable!).

It certainly made missing those family members who are absent this year—and those no longer with us, a little less painful.  Even grief, especially grief, is made bearable when shared.

Yet it feels like a blinked, and here we are, already lighting the second candle on the Advent wreath!

I confess that I spent that first Sunday of Advent in bed—or running between my bed and bathroom.  A crazy stomach virus made its way through pretty much everyone who was at our house for Thanksgiving… which was an amazing 22 people this year!

I was thankful that I was the last person in the bunch to get sick, and that it was a very strong but very quick virus.

As far as Advent goes, I’ve been playing catch up every since. The plus side is that all the down time has given me the opportunity to read some beautiful Advent reflections.

My friend Susan Stabile, for example, has already published several insightful Advent blog posts this past week, including this one ("Why does Advent matter?"—where she quotes a Henri Nouwen Advent Prayer, one I don’t remember ever seeing before:

Lord Jesus,
Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.
We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.
To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”

In her typically direct manner, Susan proposes three questions to reflect on as we embrace the active waiting of the Advent season:

Do we want to be transformed?

Do we believe we can be transformed?

What is the transformation God asks of us?
 Here we go...