Here’s some Advent wisdom.
1:18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.
1:19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly.
1:20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
1:21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
1:22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
1:23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”
1:24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife,
1:25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
When our heart rests in the Source of all meaning, it can encompass all meaning. Meaning, in this sense, is not something that can be put in words. Meaning is not something that can be looked up in a book, like a definition. Meaning is not something that cn be grasped, held, stored away…. Meaning is no thing. It is more like the light in which we see things…. When we find meaning, we know it because our heart finds rest.
Listen, God loves everything you love—and a mess of stuff you don’t.
Hope looks at all things the way a mother looks at her child, with a passion for the possible. That way of looking is creative. It creates the space in which perfection can unfold. More than that, the eyes of hope look through all imperfections to the heart of all things and find it perfect. The eyes of hope are grateful eyes. Before our eyes learned to look gratefully at the world, we expected to find beauty in good looking things. But grateful eyes expect the surprise of finding beauty in all things.
Jane Wilson Joyce, from her book Quilt Pieces(Frankfort, KY: Gnomon Press, second printing, 2009)