Expectant in Bethlehem
Advent Meditations 2011
by Anne E. Kitch
First Sunday of Advent
November 27, 2011
Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come . Mark 13:33
I’m not ready.
The morning rain carries with it the edge of cold to come. The air sighs with sadness at this turn toward winter. Advent is upon us and neither my house nor my spiritual life is prepared. Earlier this week I was looking forward to a lovely meditative day of clearing away the detritus of fall, unwrapping the family crèche, making our Advent wreath. I have had the candles for the wreath for months. My friend and I bought them on a golden summer afternoon as we strolled through small town shops and artist studios. She led me to the hand-dipped candles that she buys every summer for her own Advent wreath. I bought some too, choosing with care, enjoying the exquisite colors. I remember this moment now, when my wreath is not ready and the quiet meditative day to reflect and prepare is long since beyond my reach. Life happens.
I’m not ready.
I remember another morning when I stood by the front door, my suitcase already in the car and a large plastic bin on the floor in front of me. I was sure I could fit one more item into it. I was about to leave to lead a retreat and I was overwhelmed by the certainty that I was not prepared. Despite all the work I had put into it, doubt lingered. More candles? Another book of prayers? A change of shoes? My husband gently held me in his arms. “Perhaps you are not ready. Or perhaps you could look at it as if you have been preparing for this moment for your entire life.”
I’m not ready. I have been preparing for this moment my entire life.
The testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you-- so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:6-7