Expecting the Holy
Advent and Christmas, 2011
This graphic by Jan Richardson makes me think about the anticipation of this season of Advent. I remember, as a child, being filled with wonder and expectation. I look at this graphic and I can already imagine the kinds of things I might see coming through the door, as well as the kinds of things I might see if I stand in that pointed doorway and look out.
When we think of the word "expecting" there are a lot of connotations. When I was pregnant, it was common to hear my state described as "expecting". So, as we anticipate the birth of the Christ child, we see how that word makes sense. But even if you haven't had the experience of giving birth, you, no doubt, have found yourself "expecting." When you expect something, you look for signs of it's coming. When you expect something, you interpret what you see and experience through the lens of your expectation. When you expect something, you lean forward and watch, your heart beats a bit faster and you feel a bit more alive and engaged in the world around you.
So what if this Advent season, we seriously expected the Holy? What if we anticipated the birth of the divine in our time and in our place? What if we allowed that expectancy to influence how we experienced the world and how we saw the signs that just seem to be everywhere when we are expecting? We just might find the Holy in all kinds of places and people and situations! We just might find room for God to live among us in ways we hadn't quite imagined before.