Fourth Sunday of Advent Reflection
I fall in love and the axis of my world tilts; I am no longer at the centre. My children are born and once again the axis shifts a little more. Along come the grandchildren and somehow we see this as a new beginning, free of all the missteps of our previous loves. This is the heart ever-expanding in its capacity to hold love. This great increase in our capacity to love is seen in 107-year-old Ruth’s’ birthday wish to hold a baby. This is the call of our human journey, our hearts ever expanding in their capacity to hold love.
From our very first ancestors through the countless birthing of humanity, on through the eons, to that very last child that will ever be born at the end of time, each and every face, all of them together, making up the image of God.
Each one known, loved and cherished from before times beginning to the final fulfilment of God’s blueprint for this immense family. This is the unimaginable expanse of God’s love.
This is why the expanse of this true and living God is too much for us to bear, to conceive, to adore, to know, to understand, and to worship. This is why God gives himself to us as a little child in and through Jesus the Christ.
This is God, both our mother and our father, who refuses to be God without us. This is “God with us” that we celebrate in the birth of every child; this is God with us that we celebrate at the birth of Jesus this coming Christmas.
This is why we come together as the Christian family at Christmas to celebrate God’s image becoming ever more that reality of God’s being made known to us, to expand our hearts in celebration and love. This is our story, all of us, each one celebrated as God comes to be with us.
The coming of the long-awaited Messiah, the light of the world and the desire of the nations, not through clouds and lightning but through the nine-month pregnancy of a country girl, through thirty years of the normal human process of infancy, adolescence and adulthood, reminds us that God comes in ordinary, normal, daily circumstances of life.
God comes to us in the people we see around us being born, growing up, ageing and dying. It is often hardest to see God in the people who are familiar to us, not to talk of in our own very selves. But if we see the incarnation of the Son of God as a bridge between heaven and earth, between the divine and the human, between the order of grace and the order of nature, between the sacred and the profane, maybe we will begin to discern the presence and action of God more and more in our daily lives.
A Nigerian proverb says, “Listen, and you will hear the footsteps of the ants.” Today we are challenged to listen and hear the footsteps of God who comes into our lives in ordinary ways, through ordinary people and at ordinary moments of our lives, in times of celebration, in times of remembrance and in times of sorrow.
No need to look up to the mountain top or the depths of the ocean, for “In him we live and move and have our being”.
Brother Sun, Sister Moon
Brother Sun and Sister Moon
I seldom see you seldom hear your tune
Preoccupied with selfish misery
Brother Wind and Sister Air
Open my eyes to visions pure and fair
That I may see the glory around me.
I am God’s creature, of Him I am part
I feel His love awakening my heart.
Brother Sun and Sister Moon
I now do see you, I can hear your tune
So much in love with all that I survey.