I have always loved Advent but since I became a parent it has taken on new meaning. The faith Advent calls for – a willingness to say “yes” to whatever may be coming and to trust that whatever it is will turn out to be good – resonates with the kind of faith parenting requires. Before the child arrives, certainly, but even afterwards, we make a blind commitment to a person and a life that we can’t know and we can’t control. Hope and joy and love abound: so, too do fear and uncertainty and worry. We pray that the former will be stronger than the latter.
Madeline L’Engle writes of Advent:
“This is the irrational season when love blooms bright and wild. Had Mary been full of reason there’d have been no room for the child.”
For it was Mary’s wild and daring “yes” that began it all – a “yes” rooted in the promises of God’s love and justice and the recognition of God’s radical solidarity with us. “My soul magnifies the Lord,” sings Mary, some months into her pregnancy, and so do ours. Each time we say “yes” to God’s promises, we make those promises more visible, holding all of us, God included, to that vision of the world.
“My soul magnifies the Lord,” sings Mary, some months into her pregnancy and, I am sure, well after it as well. Because I know that when I look on my own child I am emboldened to say “yes” and my soul is lifted up to magnify the Lord.
May you have a blessed – and wild – Advent.