Act like children

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Daily Reading for December 6 • Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, c. 342

We can choose the light. Choosing the good and the light is not always an easy process. Many give up on growth in the Christian life because they find it difficult to shake their destructive patterns of behavior. We have learned we should choose the good, but we do not always understand the role of desire. If we do not understand desire, we will never understand choice. Desire is what saves us in the Christian life.

Desire is an innate gift of the Holy Spirit that needs to be intentionally cultivated. Desiring to do good, even when we do not choose to, is a step in the right direction. Let us be patient with ourselves when we fail to pray, fail to be courageous, or fail to practice what we preach. Let us tap into our gift of desire and cultivate it though prayer.

Advent invites us to stand up as children of God. Being children, of course, requires having birth parents, and this is the rub. Some of us do not treasure the time spent with our parents or do not have parents at all. Because of this, we find it hard to understand what it means to have God as our parent and to be children of God. On the other hand, some of us have had wonderful relationships with our parents, and it is easy for us to understand God as loving parent. In Christian community, we can share our experiences of childhood and explore our understandings of God as parent. When was the last time we shared our experiences as parents and children in a faith setting? When was the last time we shared the joys and pains of our childhood in the context of a prayer gathering or Eucharist? Doing this could be a tremendous source of healing and life this Advent.

Being children of God requires that we act like children. Cry when you need milk. Act silly to make God laugh. Listen to what God says. Throw things off the table and experience God’s patience. Curl up in the arms of God. Ask God to read you a story. Allow God to throw you up in the air. Play hide and seek with God. Allow God to play hide and seek with you. Cry when God goes away. Squeal with delight when God comes back. Listen to God say how much you are loved. Tell God of your love. This, without a doubt, is what Advent is all about.

From The Womb of Advent by Mark Bozutti-Jones. Copyright © 2007. Seabury Books, an imprint of Church Publishing. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY. www.churchpublishing.org

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