This past Sunday was the first week of Advent. The word Advent comes from the Latin root 'adventus,' which means "arrival" or "to come." During the next four weeks we are invited to prepare for the "arrival" of Jesus; who is The Christ- God's ultimate expression of love and grace. We are invited to slow down and become aware of God's love and grace that surrounds and sustains us. When our culture around us goes into a frenzy of shopping, planning and parties, this slowing down is counter intuitive and viewed as plain crazy. If we, however, want to live more in tune with God's Kingdom than our culture's, it would behoove us to be intentional and attentive to God and His invitations during this Advent season.
Traditionally we would light the candle of Trust this week. However, this Sunday at Journey we didn't. Just like the absence of light from the candle, trust is often birthed in the dark. Trust is built layer upon layer, believing in the goodness of God despite external circumstances. There is no way that Mary or Joseph could have been expecting the invitation for Mary to give birth to the Christ. Despite their initial questions and fears they accepted God's crazy invitation. They must have known and trusted in the goodness of God previously to accept so graciously such a radical invitation. And over the next 33 years they discovered how utterly trustworthy God really is.
It is most often only in hind-sight that we can see the hand of God in our darktimes. Often what we thought was the "worst" turns out, in God's care, to be the "best." This week you are invited to look at trust in your life. Take some time to see how God has been present in your past. Look especially at those "rough patches" in your journey. How was God present and faithful? Where do you now see God's love and grace? Where are you currently leaning into what God is doing in your life? Where are you resisting? How can you move just a little more toward trust rather than self sufficiency?
Life is short so let's use these next four weeks to move a little more in the direction of preparing for the "arrival" of God's ultimate expression of love and grace. We won't do it perfectly, but any movement toward trust and God is a step worth taking.
By Babs May-Clark