Wednesday, December 1, 2010
For the first time in over 15 years there has been no Advent Cactus to alert me to the approaching season. My Advent Cactus was given to me anonymously while pastoring the Vidalia Church and sat in my office as long as I did. It was watered ocassionally, neglected most of the time, yet, a week or two before the Advent Season it would always start showing pink buds which would soon blossom. Each year I watched in amazement and gratitude for its faithfulness. When I left Richmond Hill for retirement, I gave the Advent Cactus to a staff member as a parting gift. It was for me more than just a plant. It was a treasure.
Perhaps, the plant never made it to this Advent Season. Maybe it missed its owner of all those years and wasted away! Or, maybe it could not stand the shock of an owner who looked after it. Nonetheless, I have found myself wondering about it during these early days of Advent. Without its pink announcement to alert me, Advent almost slipped up on me. So, here I am wondering. Wondering. Not a bad thing to be doing during a holy season of waiting and expectation.
This Advent season will surely be different for me as I have journeyed from a place behind the rail to a place in front of it. Yet, this growing awareness within that something is about to happen is so present with me. The Advent hymns are rising out of my spirit as surely as they do from the pages of the hymnal and there is once again the deep desire to read and hear the sacred readings of the season. Instead of seeing pink buds, there is a sense that the Spirit is stirring within me, saying, "Something is about to happen!" And I find myself waiting, expecting, and wondering all over again!