Time to Wait
Who stands at my door in the storm and the rain
On the threshold of being?
One who waits till you call him in,
From the empty night.
I am no stranger who stands at the door
Nor enemy come in the secret night,
I am your child in darkness and fear
On the verge of being.
In the extract from the Three Poems of Incarnation, a child stands on the threshold of life. In the imagined conversation, the child also stands on the threshold of our own heart, and is warned not to enter a place so full of pain.
The Season of Advent draws us into a purposeful and patient watching and waiting. This is not a time when we try and block out the ever-early Christmas festivities, Advent is about something much deeper but we have to step out of the pressing and urgent needs of our immediate surroundings to begin to understand the message of Advent. For Christians, Advent is a time when Jesus is brought to us gently. It is a time of listening, of watching and being open to God’s Spirit as we await the signs of Christ’s coming. He comes to us not with the full force of a powerful king but as a homeless and vulnerable refugee, born in the dirtiness and brokenness of the world. There is in this Advent season something of the unexpectedness of God who chooses to work through our human experience, after all he came to live, to suffer and die as one of us. Jesus did not remain secure and swaddled, he entered into the world carrying the message that a loving God is with us, binding our wounds and forgiving our sins. He challenged injustice and angered those in power to the point that he was killed, but rose again so that we would know that our redemption is at hand.
During Advent, as Christmas comes nearer, there comes a time when we move from waiting and watching, to decision and activity. As the Christ Child stands on the threshold, we can choose to open our hearts and say yes to the gift of Christ’s love; the love that gives meaning and purpose to life. The love that gives us a vision of hope, the gift of peace and the gift of joy.