22 Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. 23 You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 Peter 1:22-23
Today’s thought from Nouwen is about preparing they way of the Lord. The days before Christmas must be days of deep prayer to be truly open to receive him. At times like this I think of the clergy I know and how “busy” they are – the sheer acts of being in the right place at the right time with the right carol service and the right readers (with the right readings). And I think too of choirs spending their time rehearsing madly to be ready for the big day. And even lay people like me helping out at four carol services and two Eucharists between now and Christmas lunch. How can any of us truly open our hearts to God without our minds drifting to the next thing that needs to be done?
Ultimately it is a question of just making time. Using those snatched minutes here and there. Saying “God, please make yourself visible to me amongst the chaos and busyness.” Easier said than done for us all.
I was less sure how this liked to the reading from 1 Peter. Perhaps it is just an entreaty to us not to forget the enduring word of God? To really concentrate when we hear the readings in a carol service and focus on them rather than what we’re doing next?
Today’s action was to give up salt for the day. I didn’t get this – if salt is a sign of purification, why should we not be salted?
And now, today’s Great ‘O’. Can I find a link from the Nouwen inspired thoughts to today’s antiphon? Well, perhaps. We need to take the time to look for God as a sign to us – in a way that not everybody does – and when we do, to shut our mouths and make our own prayer. By making time, He will come to deliver us. Maranatha.
O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples;
before you kings will shut their mouths,
to you the nations will make their prayer:
Come and deliver us, and delay no longer.