By Sister Sue Scharfenberger, OSU
It’s been many years ago that during the first week of Advent I wrote an Advent song. We used it in our liturgies, and the words were something like: Waiting, waiting, we are waiting for your coming Lord, O come Lord Jesus come.
And while the song comes back to me at this time of year it no longer speaks to me of what I understand the Incarnation to be about. And I no longer “Wait”.
That divine energy that started and has been communicated long before the birth of Jesus Christ is calling us now to wake up to a presence, a way of being, a way of relating that is within us and all around us. Rather than an attitude of waiting for something or someone, it seems there is a call to stand in wonder and awe at what already is and at the same time what is in process of becoming.
Changing instruments of war into instruments of peace requires a creativity and commitment that is not in our hands only. We must believe and become aware that peace is in the making and join our forces, our energies to this great and challenging task. There is a transformation that is happening as part of the evolutionary process and we are invited to become a part of it.
For me, there is something too passive in “waiting.” The cultural dynamism of cyber communication, instant everything, fingers glued to the cell phone, the great facility to know everything instantly, perhaps facilitates our communication of information and top of the head opinions. But it does nothing to foster relationships.
Building and maintaining community and communities calls me to a contemplative place where I can notice what are the patterns in the relationships around me and respond to the invitations to foster, encourage, reach out to, strengthen and celebrate the activity of the divine who is among us already in simple acts of love.
Sometimes even the waking up to what is happening calls me to a place of forgiveness, asking and giving. I can never reach a time when I can say it is finished, we have completed the task. The movement is too spiral, too dynamic, and too cosmic. But I can notice. I can pay attention to the transformation and allow myself to become open to being a conscious part of it.
For love is birthed daily. I cannot absorb it all, but I can stand in wonder of it all. And the wonder is itself a great act of love. Isaiah says it better: “Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already… you can see it now”. (IS 43: 18-19)