We're in Advent now - Happy Advent! It's my favourite liturgical season. Bring on the (Sarum) blue.
It's fascinating to me, however, that the season of now-and-not-yet, of adventus, of time meant to be in preparation, is a season well-known for a countdown, an end-date.
For many in secular society, Advent means little calendars with chocolates or toys inside. For many within the church, it means carefully fitting in all the special services in the 4 Sundays. For many clergy, it means the preparations are focused more on liturgical and administrative duties rather than the spiritual journey.
So where is the expectant waiting? Where is the comfort in being still, in not rushing, in being mindful of this moment? For it is in accepting that this moment is as it should be, a mystery unto itself, that we really engage in Advent. Advent should teach us that this moment is not meant to be a precursor to something else; it simply IS.
And so we wait. We expect. We do our best to understand that this moment will never come again. We do our best to understand that this moment flowed from what was and will inform what will be. We do our best to understand that the presence of Christ in our lives depends on this moment ... and this moment ... and this moment, too.
So here; now; we are challenged to be. Not to anticipate what will be, not to mark down on a calendar, but to delight in the reality of hopeful expectation. To celebrate the unknown forthcoming, and to be acutely aware of the joy-filled opportunity of the immediate.
It's Advent now. NOW it is Advent. I wish you a time of peace and calm presence as we live in the now.