November 29, 2015
Reflection by Tuesday Rupp
Have you ever noticed that so many of the texts for Advent involve proclamations? Prophetic words are fashioned into hymns: “Comfort, comfort ye my people/speak ye peace/thus saith our God,” or “On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s cry/announces that the Lord is nigh.” One of my favorite parts of Handels Messiah is the soprano singing the part of the Angel: “For Behold! I bring you glad tidings of great joy!” It makes sense to me that we delight in singing along in hymns, carols, at choral concerts or in the car with the radio.
Music has a way of ordering time with rhythm. Sometimes when singing in church, or playing an instrument, or even listening to an album, time has a way of standing still. Similarly, our liturgical calendar sets a rhythm to the earth-turning duration of a year, a compound rhythm against all the other calendars.
During Advent, the invitation from text and tradition is to relax the tempo. Both prophetic proclamations and angelic announcements ask the same thing of the hearer: listen. The Creator of the stars of night comes close to speak a word or two. This is hard: the other calendars are ramping up to the too-fast dance of all of the expectations of this cultural season. Many of us look longingly at quiet day offerings and centering prayer groups, despairing of finding time to quiet our hearts so we can hear.
This Advent, we are offering 24 mini-retreats, using images, music, and short reflections for the day and the season. They will be posted on this blog daily, available by email if you wish. With each day’s offering, we invite you to notice your breathing, to notice your being, and to spend a few minutes present to this precious time when God is coming ever closer. “Give us eyes to see - give us ears to hear - that your Word is come - that your Word is here.”
May we all listen better this Advent season.