ADVENT: DAY ONE
The house lights go off and the footlights come on. Even the chattiest stop chattering as they wait in darkness for the curtain to rise. In the orchestra pit, the violin bows are poised. The conductor has raised his baton. In the silence of a midwinter dusk, there is far off in the deeps of it somewhere a sound so faint that for all you can tell it may be only the sound of the silence itself. You hold your breath to listen. You walk up the steps to the front door. The empty windows at either side of it tell you nothing, or almost nothing. For a second you catch a whiff of some fragrance that reminds you of a place you’ve never been and a time you have no words for. You are aware of the beating of your heart….The extraordinary thing that is about to happen is matched only by the extraordinary moment just before it happens. Advent is the name of that moment.
— Frederick Buechner
This is why I love Advent. It is a season of hold-your-breath anticipation. No one is asking you to believe something in order to make God like you and come near to you. There is no quiz at the end. It’s just: Can you be still for one moment? There is an unspoken trust in what is to come. The divine life is rushing in, and that doesn’t depend on whether you believe that or even care about that. It just is. If you do care, if you do want it, then all you have to do is be quiet, listen, wonder, pay attention, whisper wow.
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