Advent prayer is filled with prophetic voices calling us to new life. One of the themes of Advent is to awaken, to open our eyes and to see what surrounds us. There can be a new vision, a message of hope, of love, of unity and a renewed relationship with one another in God. In this stressful time we need to be awake to hear it. It is a call to shake off the torpor of our accommodations to the division and superficial values in which we are immersed. It is a voice of hope in the midst of discouragement and weariness. Advent is a time of waiting in the darkened world alert to the signs of God’s presence in our midst, ready to respond to every ray of light which awakens us to truth.
Make us receptive to your presence. Rouse us from insensitivity and lack of awareness.
Be “awake” to the differences between the message of Jesus and the messages that are preached by the systems in which we are immersed daily. Pay attention to the prophetic voices in our time.
You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Romans 13: 11-12
In this season of Advent, we are called to expand the horizons of our hearts, to be amazed by the life which presents itself each day with newness. In order to do this, we must learn to not depend on our own certainties, on our own established strategies, because the Lord comes at a time that we do not imagine. He comes to bring us into a more beautiful and grand dimension.
They watch for Christ
who are sensitive, eager, apprehensive in mind
who are awake, alive, quick-sighted…
who look for him in all that happens, and
who would not be surprised,
who would not be over-agitated or overwhelmed,
if they found he was coming at once.
John Henry Newman
At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving the others with God’s own love and concern.
Into this world, this demented inn
in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,
Christ comes uninvited.
The great awareness comes slowly, piece by piece. The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. The experience of spiritual power is basically a joyful one.
Life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfill. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of our Advent experience.
CONNECTIONS, 11-28-93, Life Is an Advent Season
The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive.…Instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans. Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’…Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.
Rev. Alfred McBride