Second Week of Advent in Year A
4-10 December 2016
I’ve always been pretty good at that spontaneous, one-day event. I’m not talking about sport,
but that other ‘one-day event’ - the explosively joyous culmination of our spiritual journey of
Advent, known as Christmas Day!
As I’ve grown older and (I hope!), become a little more patient, I’ve learned to appreciate the
value of journeys, even as I anticipate each arrival. The best journeys are, after all, more than
simply a set of steps towards a desired point. As expressions of our will, they reveal what
matters to us most, so we do well to appreciate each journey, even as we anticipate its end.
I’m once again reminded of poet Ruth Padel’s observation that, as humans, we are ‘travelling
animals’. Padel’s alluding to our capacity to ‘wander’ but, at Advent, our journey is connected
more directly to its destination, one deeply central to our Christian identity. Early Christians
saw their Advent journey as a season of preparation, anticipating the baptism of new
Christians. We see our Advent journey also as one of preparation, tempered by our special
sense of calm and quiet reflection, as we focus with increasing intensity on the joy of Christ’s
first coming, in the hopeful anticipation of his second.
So, however you come to know and express yourself through this season of Advent, I hope
you find that prayer is a way to help you cut through distractions, and to live each moment