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Wednesday, Second Week of Advent

Preparing for Reverence

In searching both within and outside of myself for a reflection this day, I came across M. Scott Peck's book, A World Waiting to Be Born. And I thought, that is what this period leading up to Christmas is about for me. It's not just the celebration of waiting for Christ to be born. The context of my world shifts into a kind of expectancy of good and trust in goodwill; snow covers everything with a new 'clean' layer, faces around me grow open and receptive, and I'm preparing.

What am I preparing for? This is a great inquiry! I've never looked into my life specifically to see how the usual holiday preparations for this season are related to the preparation for the coming of Christ. Christmas is very important to me, and it's the one time of the year that I actually slow down to prepare and wait for something! I choose gifts ahead of time for the people I love and care about; I make sure that I have the food or ingredients for food that I want to prepare weeks ahead of time; it is literally the one time of year that it is unacceptable to me to be rushed, caught short, or ill-tempered! What I want to be engaged in is reverence. For me the reverence is not expressed so much as a religious celebration as it is a reverence for the everyday things that are reborn for me at this time of year; a reverence for nature in all that it gives us; a reverence for the good fortune that we enjoy in our lives; and a reverence for the face of God in each person around us.

Thank you for the opportunity to reflect upon this, which has "preparation" present to me in this moment, newly.

Judy Owens-Manley
Associate Director for Community Research
Levitt Center