I love the change of seasons. I also appreciate the Church’s liturgical year with each season carrying deep meaning. Full of sameness, yet each year offering us something new. The Scripture readings do not change but our lives do! For me, Advent is a season of waiting, of hope, and a time to reflect and look deeper at life—my own and that of the world in which I am living. I can slow down and allow God to speak to me—to teach me and to transform me. Here is a favorite poem of mine that speaks of my desire for us all:
OPEN THE DOOR
When you step over
The threshold of Christmas
There’s a mystery
For you to explore.
The music of color and love.
There’s a sense
Of the Creator’s presence
The wonder of childlike joy.
The texture of worship.
The power of peace.
Turn the handle
And open the door.
Our church is now dressed in purple which signifies penance and preparation. I find it interesting that the lavender plant with its delicate scent is known for its calming properties. When we take time to be in silence whether early in the morning with candles lit, enjoying a stunning sunrise or sunset, or sitting alone in a chapel, we sense the wonder, mystery, and power of God’s peace.
It takes time and attention to encounter mystery. In our busy world, that can be a struggle. I pray my favorite Advent prayer for all of us as we seek to experience the mystery Advent offers us this year. Maybe we can light a lavender candle as we pray.
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!” Amen.
By Henri Nouwen