Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent Pause

So, it is the second week in Advent already, and I have some confessions to make:

1.  I have not put up an advent wreath yet.  (not sure where it is.)
2.  I just put out an Advent calendar in my office, and opened 7 windows at once.  (This is the one I bought at The Cloisters a couple of years ago (3?) when we were in New York).
3.  I haven't done a lot of Christmas shopping yet, although I am making a couple of presents.  Clearly, I should have gotten started earlier.
4.  I don't know for sure what we are doing on Christmas eve, or day, who we are entertaining, and therefore have not planned any menus yet.

Arg.  That is my very profound thought.

The first week of Advent kind of got away from me, to be honest, and I'm trying to slow it down a little, now that I'm practically in the middle of the second week of Advent.  Maybe it's not too late to find the wreath and light a candle or two and pause for a moment and consider not just my headlong attempt to check everything off the list by December 24.  Maybe it's not too late to light a candle and pause for a moment and consider where God is taking us. 

Tomorrow, I am supposed to do a devotion for a short Matins service that we have every Wednesday.  Usually I am not at a loss for themes for short reflections, but I was scratching my head this morning, and trying to think about what to say.  I looked up some verses in the daily lectionary, and one of the suggested Scriptures was the story of Ruth.

And what is Ruth telling me in this season of Advent?

The book of Ruth is a love story, but not just in the ordinary ways.  Of course, Ruth is a Moabite who marries an Israelite.  That's one part of the love story.  But after her husband dies, she decides to go to Israel with her mother-in-law, Naomi, and live among strangers rather than with her own people.  That's another part of the love story.  And then there's the part about Boaz, and Ruth finding a new husband.  That's yet another part of the love story.  And then there's the fact that the foreigner Ruth gets into the geneology of King David, and Jesus. 

That's part of the love story, too. 

Love stories.

So I light an advent candle (or two), and consider that advent is a time of waiting, of longing, of exptectancy.  And the sighs I hear are the sighs of love.