The first step in being ready to receive is to open oneself to what is being given. This means that we have to prepare ourselves, ridding ourselves of our pre-conceived illusions of what we are going to get. Freeing ourselves to receive is a way of entering a true Sabbath, a resting, a pure openness to receive what one is blessed to receive. It probably seems odd to talk about Sabbath rest in the middle of Advent. But the Sabbath in its purest sense is but a taste of the world to come. So what, then, are we looking toward in this Advent season? The Advent season is a looking toward the ultimate Sabbath, the coming of God into Creation as it enters its very fullness, its very perfection, the very essence of what it is supposed to be.
The birth of Christ was the beginning, a taste of the world to come, the point at which we realized that the world was not meant to look like what we had planned. Our Advent journey prepares us to rebirth Christ in our own lives, it prepares us to taste once again what is to come, and to inch that much closer to the world that God envisions. But to do that we have to rid ourselves of our own illusions, we have to enter a Sabbath way of thinking, a Sabbath way of receiving God in whatever way God chooses to come. If we are not open to God’s coming, if we are not purely and wholly free of ourselves and ready to receive God into our lives, we will be looking for God to come into that place for which we have so carefully prepared and made ready and God, in perfect God-wisdom, will instead come through the back door of our hearts and settle in the dark grottos of our lives where only those who are poor in Spirit and humble in life and who crave the light with all their being will see. So, open your life to all of your life, because that is when God comes.
So go forth and be free to receive!
Grace and Peace,