Watch For The Light . . . Wait For It . . . Witness It
December 13, 2014
Horseshoe Bend, AR
We have all been impacted by the most significant event the world has ever seen . . . the Advent of Jesus Christ. The word Advent simply means, "to come near." To approach, and remain close. And the First Advent of Christ . . . God himself coming near, and remaining close . . . is "a riddle wrapped in a mystery shrouded in an enigma" that the prophets of old, and the angels in heaven, have been trying to wrap their minds around since it was first proclaimed . . . in the book of Genesis:
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15 (KJV)
Throughout history, some of the finest minds and most brilliant intellects have struggled with this conundrum, and in this book the fruit of their labor has been collected for the rest of us to consider and to contemplate.
The title of the book is more than a means of grabbing one's attention, though. It is an invitation to do just that. To open the hearts and minds of seekers of truth, ranging from Aquinas, and Kierkegaard, and Lewis all the way up to Dillard, and L'Engle, and Yancey. To drink from the cup of their thoughts, and musings, and to savor their reflections and conclusions that they have ultimately arrived at.
Accept the invitation, during this time of year, to Watch For The Light.
Watch for it. Wait for it. Witness it.
5 stars for a work that the world has been waiting for
The Advent of Glory and Mystery entering our reality.
November 30, 2014
Sufficient in Jesus
Watch for the Light~ Readings for Advent and Christmas.
I've never formally observed Advent, unless you count opening the 24 doors on the Precious Moments Advent Calendar.
In my circles, Advent was merely the countdown to the fun of Christmas day.
Watch for the Light combines material from the ancient and modern voices, from every corner of Christendom.
We have St. Chrysostom, John Donne, T. S. Eliot, Madeleine L'Engle and Philip Yancey.
The selections also vary greatly in length and style.
(This seems to be turning some readers on there heads. Most devotional entries are one paragraph long, paired with a single Bible verse. The editors here did not confine themselves to that mold.)
One reading was fourteen pages long- and worth every word, because it was written by Alfred Delp before he was hanged by the Nazis in 1945.
Another was a few scant stanzas from Sylvia Plath, reminding us that:
If you dare call those spasmodic
Tricks of radiance miracles. The wait's
The long wait for the angel,
For that rare, random descent."
Frankly, I don't see how these selections could be uniformly reduced to one paragraph. It would compromise them. And the diversity is excellent.
There's Brennan Manning, calling us to be "Shipwrecked at the Stable," captured by the pure Love that was suddenly seen enfleshed.
There's Karl Rahner- "We roll up all our needs and yearnings into one word: Come! And yet... could you approach any nearer to us that you did when you became the Son of Man, when you adopted our ordinary little ways so thoroughly? It is said that you will come again, and this is true. But the word 'again' is misleading... because you have never really gone away. In the human existence that you made your own for all eternity, you have never left us."
There's Evelyn Underhill- "We have got to begin by a humble recognition that human things can be holy, very full of God... that all life is engulfed in him and he can reach out to us anywhere at any level."
There's Emmy Arnold- "The true Christmas experience is to feel that this Christmas peace is the greatest power; that even now on earth it overcomes all unpeace. That this peace shall come to all, that is the expectation and the faith of Christmas!"
There's St. Bernard of Clairvaux- "Let the Word, I pray, be to me, not as a word spoken only to pass away, but conceived and clothed in flash that he may remain with us. Let him be, not only to be heard with the ears , but to be seen with the eyes, touched with the hands and borne on the shoulders. Let the Word be to me, not as a word written and silent, but incarnate and living..."
There's Henri Nouwen, writing about the way Mary and Elizabeth and Anna must have waited- "Active waiting is to be present fully in the moment, in the conviction that something is happening where you are and that you want to be present to it."
Let me put it this way: Reading Watch for the Light will enlarge your concept of Advent.
We live in Advent, waiting and working in anticipation; the Eternal Birth takes place in us; and the tidings of Goodwill go out ahead of us into 2015.
This book was give to me as a gift, and it made this last advent season one of depth and beauty. I love the ageless comments from all Christian history, and walks of life. It forces one to look beyond the superficiality of this society, and invite His Advent.