Service for the Second Sunday in Advent
- for 1 hour
- St George's Church, Malaga
- Address Avenida de Pries 1 Malaga, 29016, ES
Advent is the name given to the 4 weeks before Christmas. It is a time of preparation and a time of waiting. But we are not good at waiting. In fact, whatever we can do to avoid it – taking a shortcut, driving to work at an unsocial hour, buying online, paying for speedy boarding, whatever it is…we are there and doing it.
But Advent is about making a virtue out of the waiting, it is about really doing it well. It's about looking for God and hoping for God, and waiting for God, …when God's presence, his promises, his embrace of our world, is often ambiguous. And that is part of our human life. To live in this intermediate world, neither Heaven nor Hell, neither all good nor all bad, with its contradictions, its frustrations, its moments of absolute pain and its moments of absolute glory.
So we wait…because we don’t yet know. We don’t get the big picture. We don’t get God’s vision. We only see a tiny bit. The waiting is where we deal with all the things we don’t know about God - what theologians call the “epistemological distance”, that gap of knowing, between creature and creator, between the object and the subject, between the human and the divine. That part of us that only sees bits, pieces, the mess on the back of the tapestry and not the beautiful picture on the other side.
And it is at Advent that we can cultivate that discipline. A time to put a check on our rush to the happy ending, a time to hear the angel’s message, a time to abide in the fields, a time to follow a star, a time to wait on God. “Now, we see only in part”, wrote St Paul. “We see in a mirror darkly”. And while we do, we bide our time. We wait.