advent 2017: TURNING ASIDE



Advent is a time to look for God and his hope. To wait perhaps in anticipation, in wonder and patience.  In life we have to wait, whether we like it or not. In the midst of blockage, inertia, or simply it’s not yet time, what do we do?  What then is the necessary quality or essence of our waiting?  What can we do?

Brightness awaits

We are summoned to be active in the present moment – waiting in hope, writes Rev. Sarah Mullally. Daniel O’Leary suggests adopting the practice of ‘waggling’, where the minnow or salmon flicks its tail, locating and choosing to move into ‘grace space’.  Rev. Stephen Cottrell imagines Anna, in the temple, waiting in the shadows, following the sunbeams as they enter and travel up the temple, then moving towards it allowing the sun to rest on her as might a cat sit in the morning sun. The poet priest RS Thomas, in the Bright Field,  invites us to turn aside, towards brightness.

Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that … is the eternity that awaits you.

Amidst personal and global shadows this Advent, in our active waiting, we turn towards where the brightness is that is offered us, and so to receive like Anna, the grace, peace and joy that we long for.