Our Role in Fulfilling the Promise of Advent

We had a Taize prayer service at St. Hubert’s on Thursday evening. As our Taize services alway do, the evening included song, readings, a brief reflection on the readings, petitions and a final prayer and blessing. A growing group of us take different parts in the services from month to month. For this month, I selected the readings and gave the reflection.

My theme was The Promise of Advent – God’s promise that no matter how bleak things seem (and at times our own situation and that of the world around us can seem pretty bleak), God will make things right. God hears the longing and cries of God’s people and answers them.

However, God doesn’t do all the heavy lifting alone, but invites us to participate in his great redemptive scheme. Just as God invited Mary to be an integral part in the Incarnation by bearing Jesus, each of us is invited to do our part to help incarnate God into the world. A key word is “invite.” God never forces our yes, but always leaves us free to choose, as Mary freely gave her consent to her role in God’s plan.

The readings I chose for the evening were Psalm 142:2-8a (expressing the lament and suffering of the people and their longing for God’s rescue), Micah 4:1-7 and Isaiah 11 (beautifully expressing what God’s reign will look like) and Luke 1:26-38 (the Annunciation). For ease of reference, the readings are here. You can find a podcast of my reflection (which runs for 7:50) here.