In the sixth month Gabriel the messenger was sent by the Holy One to a hamlet in Galilee called Nazareth, to a young girl engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The girl’s name was Mary. Luke 1:26-27
Who awaits you in these greatly troubled times?
How do we make room
for hope in the gloom,
and peace to smooth the way in the dealings of our day?
How do we give voice
to understanding and compassion
where heartlessness is always in fashion?
Will you attend that age-old parable
of messengers from the heavens
and signs in starry skies;
of wisdom setting out to meet humility;
and a maid who made room
for unimagined possibility;
of a refugee-God,
brought to birth in poverty,
and swaddled in squalor;
of a liberator nestled amid beasts of burden
in an occupied land,
and hope hosted by a wandering shepherd band?
Will you re-tell that ancient teaching tale,
of flight in the night
from lustful power
that fears the vulnerable,
and dreads the promised restoration
which is most surely coming?
And might you make space
for contemporary connections,
and parallel parables;
of unlikely welcomes and unsettling visitations
of fear and flight, of hearts roomy and ready,
and promise wrapped in powerlessness?
The gift of greatest efficacy and power that we can offer God and creation is not our skills, gifts, abilities, and possessions. Mary offered only space, love, belief. Loretta Ross-Gotta
The work of Advent consists of this: make room!
Attune your heart to hope, long-expected
by hungry souls and broken lives.
Clear the clutter, quiet the noise,
turn off the soundtrack,
douse the twinkling lights.
Put away your lists and listen
to cries from the earth
that break the heart of the universe.
Set aside presents to be present.
Leave behind plastic pretense
to stand beneath the sky and ponder the Maker of a trillion galaxies,
who cares yet for the smallest places,
and seeks out the dark recesses,
bearing the gift of tenuous new life.
For into each unfolding moment
with or without us, the Christ arrives,
looking only for room and readiness.
Let us not be lost
to the cancer of consumption,
or adrift in self-fulfilling dreams of doom,
or decorated by distraction,
and driven by the appetite for acquisition,
dismissing the catastrophe playing out before our misted eyes.
All we need, to embody this Christ-becoming
is space, in humble, generous hearts
and spirits ripe and willing.
A message of hope sent to enlighten distress.
A promise of peace meant for conflict-torn places.
For Christ becomes flesh in the midst of our mess.
As water sinks to the lowest point and love finds the sorest soul,
Christ seeks out the broken,
bringing to birth restoration that makes the wounded whole.
The slimmest hope is hopeful still.
The slightest flicker glimmers for all.
As earth from darkness rolls away, will you re-turn your life today
to reflect the new light coming?