Advent Reflections 2016
Faithfulness: Know you are Welcome
The Lord himself with give you a sign: A virgin will conceive and bear a son, and name him “Emmanuel.”
Isaiah 7: 14
When we read the newspaper or listen to the news, it can sometimes feel that God has abandoned us, forsaken us, but God gives a sign. “A virgin will conceive and bear a son, and name him ‘Emmanuel,’” If ‘God -is –with- us,’ we need not struggle through life alone. What a missed opportunity it would be when we are lonely, to have a ready companion that we refuse to see, struggling through life alone when someone desperately wants to be with us.
The spiritual writer Henri Nouwen, says not being welcome is our greatest fear. It connects with our ‘birth fear,’ of not being welcome in this life and our ‘death fear,’ of not being welcome in the life to come. Here then he says, is the spiritual battle, are we going to give into the forces of darkness that say we are not welcome or are we going to trust the voice of Jesus, who came not to condemn, but to set us free from fear. Nouwen says that we have to make the active choice for life, to trust the voice that says, ‘I love you. I knit you together in your mother’s womb.’ (Psalm 139)
The Advent message can be summed up in the words ‘Know that you are welcome.’ Jesus offers us his own intimate life with the Father. God comes as a baby so that we do not fear, so that we can invite the child into our arms. This week, take time to reflect on how you might embrace more deeply God’s faithful love and care for you
Amen Rev Julia Advent 2016