This Advent we are considering what it looks like to “make room” for hope, peace, joy, and love as we prepare to welcome the Christ Child into our midst once again. When we make room in our lives for something, we are preparing a place, preparing our hearts and minds, preparing our time to change, and preparing for our very lives to be different. Advent comes this year as it always does, but it’s also different. Advent in the midst of a global pandemic gives new meaning to what it means to wait. We are people who are waiting. For a vaccine, for safety, for gatherings, for hugs, for visits, for yes, hope, peace, joy, and love as we face a long winter. As our collective perspectives have shifted these past nine months, I imagine our perspective on Advent will shift too. We are people who are waiting, but we are people waiting while holding onto the truth that the one we are waiting for is already at work in our hearts and world through the Holy Spirit. And still, we make room for hope that will sustain us all the way to the dawning of a new day.
This week we are centering ourselves in hope. I commend to you Mary Oliver’s poem “Making the House Ready for the Lord.” She writes about her experience of making room, of making her house ready for the Lord and how her preparations don’t seem quite good enough. But, she says, “still I believe you will come, Lord.” In hope we still believe the Lord comes. In hope we believe that God is with us, has been with us, and will be with us in the months to come. Let us make room for hope.
In Peace, Pastor Ruth
“Making the House Ready for the Lord” by Mary Oliver
Dear Lord, I have swept and I have washed but
still nothing is as shining as it should be
for you. Under the sink, for example, is an
uproar of mice it is the season of their
many children. What shall I do? And under the eaves
and through the walls the squirrels
have gnawed their ragged entrances but it is the season
when they need shelter, so what shall I do? And
the raccoon limps into the kitchen and opens the cupboard
while the dog snores, the cat hugs the pillow;
what shall I do? Beautiful is the new snow falling
in the yard and the fox who is staring boldly
up the path, to the door. And still I believe you will
come, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox,
the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, know
that really I am speaking to you whenever I say,
as I do all morning and afternoon: Come in, Come in.
Let us pray,
Blessed are you, O Lord, the source of all hope. Open our hearts to make room for your coming among us to show us the hope, peace, joy, and love of God. While we wait, help us make room for hope in uncertain times so that our hearts overflow with it, our lives are rooted in it, and we share the hope of Christ to a world in need. Come, Lord Jesus, come! Amen.