Calvary Episcopal Church
December 21, 2003
Vol. 48, No. 45
“Drawing Nearer To God” Is a Two-way
Most of us are used to the idea that the Season of Advent is all about
the arrival of God among us in human form, the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.
the central concept of our Faith, God drawing not simply nearer to us
entering right into the core of our being. Immanuel means “God
with us,” and that
act of drawing so close to us that we become inseparable is what it means
for us to be “ in Christ.”
God never takes us by force. Each of us, alone, holds the key as
to how close God can come. Unless we take the initiative to draw
close to God, God cannot become fully present to us. We have to
be seeking God. We have to have our focus on building a strong
relationship, paying attention to God. In short, it’s a
Discipline and Discovery, Albert E. Day provides a helpful Advent
you ever encounter, on the street, a friend whose physical eyes
looked at you without seeing you? You walked right into him before
look on his face changed into one of recognition. Then he confessed
that he had been so absorbed in thought about some other matter
that he had not been aware of you, until your intentional collision
with him. You were there, yet he did not see you. Though actually
in your presence, he was nevertheless as unconscious of you as
if you did not exist.
is the persistent failure of the unemancipated consciousness.
It can be so preoccupied by lesser realities that it does not
the presence of the divine Reality surrounding and
sustaining it. Something has to happen to end that absorption
on other affairs, so that it can turn its
attention to God.
author goes on to talk about some of the circumstances that can
attention. Sometimes it’s the death of a loved one, surviving a
serious illness, the
collapse of a long friendship, or waking up from
an addiction that has taken over our lives. He
laments the fact that for so many of us, it takes this kind of “collision” to
make us conscious that we are not alone--that God is
there, all around us, all the time.
alerts us to the reality that the God who is constantly arriving
drawing near, yet again, at this Christmas season.
We are going to “run
again and again. We will either be asleep at
the switch and pass Him unaware or we will be
utterly transformed by opening the door to receive all His greatness,
love and holiness.
you see? It’s entirely up to you. Is this
Christmas going to be just like those of so many years past--a purely
secular holiday celebration filled with too many gifts, too much
to eat and drink, in which the bottom line is that you’re
left with the same old feeling of emptiness?
It doesn’t have to be that way. God WILL
draw near. The challenge posed by Advent is
this: Will you recognize God and invite Him in?