The Arrival of Mystery

The Arrival of Mystery: Week Four of Advent [24DEC2013]

Readings: Psalm 66, 67  1 Samuel 2:1-10  Titus 2:1-10  Luke 1:26-38

Reading: Choose the Life—Exploring a Faith that Embraces Discipleship by Bill Hull

Today is the eve of Mystery revealed; Advent is upon us, and darkness is now at dawn. The question begs asking; “Are we ready?” Are we prepared for the greatest and our most longed for Visitor to arrive? Are we looking for and anticipating his living amongst us…living within us? Arrival is nigh. He comes. Ready or not.

“How can we expect to find Jesus if we do not seek him in the states of this earthly life, in loneliness and silence in poverty and suffering, in persecution and contempt, in annihilation and the cross?” -Francois Fenelon

The time and place of Jesus’ birth makes me wonder if many of us in this modern and over-busy world would recognize his coming today. We people living in “first world” countries have a debilitating habit and hunger for the loud, proud, and shiny things. Many of us like busy and entertainment filled lives; we do not crave the quiet or silence, and many of us do not like being alone or in solitude.

Jesus was born in the shadows…and lived in relative poverty on the edges of his society hidden from the world’s stage for more than ninety percent of his life. Would we know him? Would we recognize him? In all likelihood, many who claim to know him today probably would not have recognized him then… Truthfully, many who say they know him today, probably would not recognize him if they saw him face-to-face today. I count myself as one of those who likely would not have known or recognized him.

For Christmas is not merely a day like every other day. It is a day made holy and special by a sacred mystery. It is not merely another day in a weary round of time. Today, eternity enters into time, and time, sanctified, is caught up into eternity… We are then, above all, obliged to reveal Christ in our lives… Every day of our mortal lives must be His manifestation, His divine Epiphany, in the world which He has created and redeemed.”  -Thomas Merton

A Prayer:

As I sit here, the beating of my heart, the ebb and flow of my breathing, the movements of my mind are all signs of God’s ongoing creation of me. I pause for a moment…And become aware of this presence of God.

I ask for the grace to let go of my own concerns and be open to what God is asking me. I ask You, O God, to keep me humbled—always driving me to Your feet—beneath Your cross, which has saved me. Help me to remain as one who is poor in spirit, always guided and formed by Your hand, my Loving Creator.

Lord, hear my prayer. And let my cry come unto You. Let us bless the Lord.

Blessed are you, LORD the God of Israel, you have come to your people and set them free.

The Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth. In him was life,, and the life was the light of all.

You have raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of your servant David.

The Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth—Emmanuel! God is with us—In him is life, and that life is the light of all.

Through your holy prophets, you promised of old to save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us.

The Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth. In him was life,, and the life was the light of all.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

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